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EDCL donates $1,000 as thank-you to Floradale firefighters

Elmira District Community Living presented $1,000 to Floradale firefighters Monday night. Taking part were Floradale deputy fire chief James Martin, EDCL residential manager Julie Martin-Jansen, EDCL services director Cheryl Peterson and district fire chief Dennis Frey. [Veronica Reiner / The Observer]

Thanking the Woolwich Fire Department, Elmira District Community Living this week donated $1,000 to the Floradale station.

Firefighters from Floradale visited a group home north of Elmira on Reid Woods Road on Monday night, not quite knowing what they were getting into.

“We didn’t have a clue! We thought we’d be having a plate of cookies and just enjoying time with the residents,” said district fire chief Dennis Frey with a laugh.

Both organizations have consistently maintained a close partnership, with the fire department helping with safety inspections, fire drills, and educating staff as to how to make the building as safe as possible.

EDCL staff expressed their gratitude; 12 people live in the home, nine of whom are in wheelchairs and most need assistance with personal care and daily routines. There are just two overnight staff at the group home.

“It is not an easy task for staff to be able to get them out of the home in case of a fire,” said Cheryl Peterson of EDCL. “Over the years, Floradale has provided a lot of advice and support to the staff and manager whenever we have needed it. It’s time we say ‘thank you.’”

The fire department will use the money at their discretion. In the past, Floradale has purchased a laptop, projector for training purchases, and defibrillator with donated money.

“Right now we’re looking at getting some reflective vests for the guys in their personal vehicles so that when they respond by themselves to an accident scene, they’ve got some identification on them,” said Frey, on possible uses of the funding.

Since members of the fire department are on call, they respond immediately to an emergency situation. As a result, members of the department may not have time to change into uniform, showing up in street clothing instead. This has lead to people on scene becoming confused as to who the firefighters are.

A reflective vest would help to solve that and provide a form of identification, said Frey. Firefighters would have access to it any time through their personal vehicles.

EDCL also donated to the Elmira fire station back in October.

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