Donations allow Medina Fire Department to purchase new boat

Photo courtesy of Medina firefighter Jacob Crooks: Firefighters Tim Miller and Adam Fisher and Captain Matt Jackson try out the Medina Fire Department’s new inflatable boat in the Canal Basin.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 19 August 2018 at 8:31 am

MEDINA – The Medina Fire Department has a new boat, thanks to the efforts of a local businessman and the generosity of the community.

Jeff Lyons, owner of Lyons Collision, was at the scene with his tow truck where a man had driven into the canal on Aug. 17, 2017. He noticed the condition of the fire department’s row boat, when they tried to carry divers out to the submerged truck.

Photo by Tom Rivers: A boat for the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department marine patrol was brought from Lake Alice in Carlton to help locate a submerged truck in the Erie Canal on Aug. 17, 2017. That boat didn’t have working sonar. A magnet was tied to rope to try to locate the truck.

“Our boat couldn’t handle the divers and their tanks,” said fire chief Tom Lupo. “It was a 1963 with a 1954 motor.”

As a result, the Orleans County sheriff’s boat had to be called, which resulted in a wait of more than an hour.

Shortly after that day, Lyons went to businesses and individuals in the community and secured $7,000 in donations, which was enough to cover the cost of the Inmar inflatable boat and 25 hp Suzuki motor, with a little left over.

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Medina Fire Department captain Jonathan Higgins, firefighter Joe Simmons and Mayor Mike Sidari take a ride in the fire department’s new inflatable boat, which was launched to escort the Corning Museum of Glass Barge into the canal basin on Aug. 9.

With the extra money and only $300 out of the village budget, firefighters Jacob Crooks and Joseph Simmons were able to rebuild the fire department’s existing trailer.

“They did a terrific job, and so inexpensively,” Lupo said. “It was way cheaper than buying a new trailer.”

The boat made its maiden voyage on Aug. 9, when it was launched to escort the Corning Glass barge into the Canal Basin for its weekend visit with the schooner, Lois McClure.

Lupo said the engine had to be properly broken in, idling it for an hour, then running it at a low speed for two hours.

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