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Wyoming County crews head home after day in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 December 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – The crew from Strykersville includes, from left: Brian George, Eric Kirsch and Carol Shaw.

ALBION – Six crews from Wyoming County are heading home this afternoon after spending about 20 hours in Orleans County, pumping basements and responding to other fire calls.

The firefighters responded to a mutual aid call to fire companies in Orleans County which have been busy since an ice storm hit at about 2 a.m. Sunday morning. Many fire companies also responded to a house fire in Holley Saturday night on Orleans-Monroe Countyline Road.

“They have helped tremendously,” said Jeremy Graham, assistant fire chief for the Albion Fire Department. “They gave us peace of mind by being here and gave us a chance to get refreshed.”

A crew from Strykersville pumped 14 basements between 9:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m., and then since 7:30 a.m. today, working mostly around Albion.

Three firefighters from Strykersville responded to the mutual aid call for Orleans County.

“We were fortunate to have some time off from our jobs so we could come down,” said Eric Kirsch of Strykersville.

He got engaged on Saturday. His fiancee gave her blessing for him to help in Orleans for the day.

“She just wants me home for Christmas,” Kirsch said.

The team from the North Java Fire Company includes, from left: Kyle Meyer, Jeremy Boorman, Jim Tuttle and Evan Church.

Firefighters from five other Wyoming County fire departments – Harris Corners, Perry, North Java, Warsaw and Arcade – worked in Orleans, with different crews assigned to the eastern, central and western portions of the county.

The North Java crew stayed in the Albion fire hall and was on standby for any fire calls. The crew responded to an EMS call. Otherwise, they stayed up most of the night playing Uno and Rummy. Their presence allowed Albion firefighters to get a good night’s rest.

Jeremy Boorman, a North Java firefighter, said the Wyoming firefighters were eager to step forward and help while Orleans was plagued with power outages, flooded cellars and downed wires.

“We hope for the same if we ever need it,” he said about the out-of-county mutual aid. “We hope people will come and help us.”