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EMT, Engine Co.

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Junior Firefighter Installation Dinner

Monday, November 16, 2015

A little over a year ago, the Halesite Fire Department began making plans to resurrect its Junior Firefighter program. Dormant since the 1980's, the program had died out after the last Juniors joined the Department as full members; most of those one-time Juniors went on to become Chief of the Department, and three of the Juniors from the last group, assisted with the reinvention of the program. KC Anna, Hose Rescue Company firefighter and EMT, rose to the challenge of becoming the program advisor. Anna stated that kids want to be proud of their home town, and to be actively involved in making the community better, and he felt that a Junior Firefighter program was just the way to start improving.

After almost a full year, the Junior Firefighters held their first Annual Installation dinner on November 16th, 2015. KC Anna welcomed over forty Junior members and their families as they reflected on their achievements in the past 10 months. Ex-Chief Mike Magerle, who is another advisor for the group, played a slideshow that highlighted the many events that the Junior's attended, including several running races, parades, parties, drill team competitions, as well as monthly meetings where the members drilled on topics ranging from ice water rescue, to hose handling, to equipment checks. Ex-Chief Magerle praised the members for their willingness to be involved in their community, and he stated that he hoped that most, if not all, continued their acts of service after the Junior's.

Dan McConnell, Chief of the Department, was also on hand to speak to the achievements of the Juniors in the past year. What started as a small group of Halesite Firefighter's children, quickly grew into a very diverse group of children from the entire Halesite community. He congratulated them on their willingness to learn new skills, make new friends, and thanked them for keeping the tradition of the Halesite Fire Department Junior Program alive. Chief McConnell went on to swear in the Board of Officers: Captain Brady Anna, 1st Lieutenant Anthony McDonald, 2nd Lieutenant Chas Forte, Sgt. At Arms Cade McCormack, Secretary Taigue Anna, and Treasurer Lukas Fleisig. He then swore in all of the Junior Firefighters.

The evening concluded with guest speaker, FDNY Firefighter, Ironman, and Marathoner Matt Long. While riding his bike to work in New York City during the transit strike of 2005, Matt was run over by a bus. Following the accident he spent five months in the hospital while he underwent over 40 surgeries; he was told he would be lucky to walk again. He shared his inspiring story of perseverance with the Juniors and traced his success to the point when he stopped listing what he wanted to do and started listing what he "WILL" do. Since recovering, Matt has successfully competed in marathons and Ironman events.




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