Albion firefighters tell Village Board not to post training records on website

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 August 2022 at 3:09 pm

ALBION – Several members of the Albion Fire Department gave the Village Board an emphatic no when it came to posting the firefighters’ training records on the village website.

Members of the department said they heard some members of the board thought it would be a good way to show the levels of training by the volunteers.

But the several firefighters said that would only bring unwanted attention and some community members would try to rank the importance of each firefighter.

“We all put in a lot of training,” said Austin Zobel, vice president of the Albion FD. “None of us are consenting to our names being posted.”

The Albion firefighters all have their basic training, and others have specialties, which could be as interior firefighters, emergency medical services or traffic control, as well as other areas.

“Everybody has a niche,” he said.

The firefighters do most of their training at the Orleans County Emergency Management Office on West Countyhouse Road, working with firefighters from other departments.

Fire Chief Rob Conner said the issue rankled many of the firefighters, who saw the possible posting of the information as an unnecessary intrusion.

“I’m proud of the work they do,” Deputy Mayor Joyce Riley said in response to a question about the making the training records public. “People should know we’re working with quality and we do things right.”

But after the response from the fire department, Riley said she would back off her support for posting the training records.

She said she appreciates the volunteer service from the firefighters and only wanted to recognize that effort.

Village Trustee Chris Barry said Riley should have handled the issue differently, rather than causing angst among the firefighters.

“The board is very appreciative of the volunteer fire department,” Barry said. “This village needs you.”

Riley said she would have welcomed a phone call from a member of the fire department, explaining the concerns about the issue.

In other action at Wednesday’s Village Board meeting:

The board amended the cost for a Hometown Hero banner from $185 to $200 with the increase covering a hike in shipping the banners. Village Clerk-Treasurer Tracy VanSkiver said the village manages the program at cost with no money made by the village.

Voted to hire Alana Piccirilli as a part-time clerk at $15 per hour.

Made Jeff Gifaldi permanent as a part-time code enforcement officer at $25 per hour, not to exceed 1,040 hours in a year.

Appointed Ian Mowatt to the Village’s Historic Preservation Commission. Mowatt is the Albion town historian.