Medina picks new fire chief

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 March 2016 at 12:00 am

Tom Lupo will stay as Lockport’s assistant chief

Photos by Tom Rivers – Tom Lupo, the newly named fire chief for the Medina Fire Department, thanks the Village Board for the opportunity to lead the Medina department.

MEDINA – The Village Board, in a unanimous vote, named the new chief for the Medina Fire Department on Monday evening.

Tom Lupo is currently the assistant fire chief for the Lockport Fire Department. He will continue in that role and work part-time for up to 30 hours each week for Medina at $30 an hour.

Mayor Andrew Meier said Lupo’s hiring is an “outside the box” move, a “hybrid” shared services with Lockport. The village doesn’t have an official agreement with the City of Lockport. Lupo will work full-time for that city, and then on his off hours be committed to Medina.

Lupo praised the Medina Fire Department on Monday calling the group an “exceptional department.”

Medina handles about 3,000 calls a year and is the primary ambulance provider for western Orleans County. Lockport’s Fire Department also was the primary ambulance provider for its city until Sept. 14, when 12 firefighters were laid off in a budget cutting move. Twin Cities Ambulance now has the ambulance contract.

Lupo is a paramedic and he said he will be on ambulance and fire calls for Medina. Many of the Medina firefighters attended Monday’s Village Board and applauded when the board announced Lupo’s appointment.

He succeeds Todd Zinkievich, who had his last day in the department on July 3 and officially retired in September after using vacation time.

Josh Wolck was promoted on Monday to a captain in the Medina Fire Department.

The board also filled a vacant captain’s position on Monday, naming Josh Wolck, a Medina firefighter the past 7 years, to the post. He fills a vacancy created when Mike Maak retired Jan. 21 after 27 ½ years with Medina.

Wolck thanked the board for the opportunity. He was praised as a hard-working member of the department who earned the promotion.

Board members also thanked Jonathan Higgins, the other captain, for the leading the department in recent months. The department doesn’t have an assistant chief or lieutenant so captain is the second-highest leadership position.

The board also filled the vacant firefighter position created with Wolck’s promotion by naming Ferdinando Papalia as a full-time firefighter.

In addition, Lawrence Stanton, Christopher Seefeldt, Thomas Rushing, Matt Natale and Robert Conley were accepted as callmen, boosting those ranks to 24.

Marguerite Sherman, a Village Board member, said the callmen influx is a sign that firefighters want to be part of the Fire Department. She commended the department’s leadership for creating an environment where people want to serve the community.