Shelby firefighters grateful for new gear and air packs through grants and fundraisers

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Shelby Volunteer Fire Company is saying thanks to several grant providers and to the community for their support, which has allowed them to purchased much needed safety equipment. Posing in front are Tim Petry, president, holding a Gary Sinese Foundation decal; Dawn Petry, steward; Vincent Viterna, firefighter; Crystal Luckman, lieutenant; and Deegan Bragg, firefighter. Standing in rear wearing their eight new sets of gear are, from left, Robert Schaal and Christopher Montalvo, firefighters; Tiffany Petry, EMS lieutenant; Tim Fearby, past chief; John Palmer, vice president; Joe Kyle, past assistant chief; Gary Lamar, past president; Trevor Fox, firefighter; and Jason Watts, chief.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 30 June 2021 at 3:33 pm

SHELBY – In spite of a difficult year coping with a pandemic and loss of their major fundraisers, the Shelby Volunteer Fire Company has a lot to be thankful for.

Tuesday night, they met to show off new turnout gear which was purchased with one of several grants they recently received.

The firefighters then put on their eight sets of new turnout gear, and provided a picture of 16 new Scott air packs, which the grants allowed them to purchase.

Fire company president Tim Petry said the fire company can’t say enough thanks to Jay Grasso, owner of G&G Municipal Consulting and Grant Writing, who wrote the Gary Sinise grant for $50,000 and a USDA Community Facilities Loan Grant for $61,000. Petry also issued heartfelt thanks to the community, whose response to a mail-in fund drive resulted in enough money to purchase five sets of gear at $2,500 each. Petry said they were especially thankful to the community, whose donations, in spite of Covid, were greater than other years.

Petry said the fire company first learned about applying for a grant when they were contacted by the Gary Sinise Foundation, asking if we could use some extra gear.

“How about we buy you eight sets?” Petry was asked.

The Gary Sinise Foundation was founded by award-winning actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise in June 2011. Sinise is known for his support of active-duty service members, veterans, first responders and their families. It has headquarters in Central Florida and San Diego.

The Shelby Volunteer Fire Company then contacted Jay Grasso of Spencerport, operator of G&G Municipal Consulting and Grant Writing, asking him to pursue the grant. The result was a $50,000 grant from the Gary Sinise Foundation. Grasso also wrote a grant to the USDA Community Facilities, which resulted in a grant of $61,000.

Provided photo: Shelby Volunteer Fire Company lined up their 16 new Scott Air Packs, which they were able to purchase with receipt of two grants. They are lined up in front of the new ladder truck, which was put into service in July 2020.

In addition to the grant from the Gary Sinise Foundation for eight sets of turnout gear, the fire company was able to purchase 16 Scott Air Packs with two bottles each.

In an e-mail to the fire company, Grasso expressed his satisfaction at helping the fire company with its operation.

“We are honored to assist the Shelby Volunteer Fire Company and they residents they serve with our grant writing assistance,” Grasso said. “Writing the successful Gary Sinise grant and the USDA Community Facilities Loan Grant was a team effort between G&G staff and fire department members. These grants will provide turnout gear and SCBA to department members. This vital gear will protect firefighters as they serve their community in dangerous conditions. I wish to personally thank department president Tim Petry for his hard work and dedication to these complicated grant applications.”

The fire company has also applied for a grant to purchase a grain bin rescue kit.

“With Covid, we lost revenue from hall rentals, as well as all our other fundraisers, so it is a blessing to get these grants,” Petry said.

He also noted the fire company put a new ladder truck into service in July 2020.