Another group of firefighters from Orleans heading to Buffalo area

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 November 2014 at 12:00 am

ALBION – Orleans County is assembling teams of firefighters to head to the Buffalo area to check on residents and respond to other fire and emergency calls.

Firefighters will gather at the Civil Defense Center at 3:30 p.m. today to get their instructions. Dale Banker, the county’s emergency management director, expects 24 to 30 firefighters to be sent to Erie County. They are expected to arrive around 5 p.m. and stay until 8 p.m. on Friday.

They will take three off-road vehicles and three fire engines. Firefighters are going from Albion, Barre, Clarendon, Holley, Shelby and Ridgeway.

Additional firefighters from the county may be sent Friday night and over the weekend, Banker said. The weekend duty could include pumping basements because temperatures are forecast to be well above freezing, leading to big snow melts.

Fourteen firefighters from the county have already been to Lackawanna. They checked on stranded motorists and transported them to a shelter. Three firefighters – Albion Fire Chief Rocky Sidari, Calrton Fire Chief Andrew Niederhofer and Albion firefighter Stan Farone – nearly delivered a baby in the Albion fire chief’s truck. They were able to get the mother to Mercy Hospital in South Buffalo just in time before the birth, Sidari said.

Some Erie County communities received 5 to 6 feet of snow on Tuesday, with another 2 feet falling today. Sidari said he was shocked to see the big walls of snow.

“The pictures don’t do it justice,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m just dumbfounded.”