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Allentown Volunteer Fire Co. Chief details efforts in Erie County in late 2022

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Chief Greg Taylor shares details and images from recent deployments

During the blizzards of ’22, multiple Allegany County first responders deployed to Erie County. The Allentown Volunteer Fire Company was part of that response, the second mutual aid deployment of the year. Chief Greg Taylor provides some insight into what that work was like, and also addresses some of the naysayers who fear mutual aid deployments sacrifice our safety at home:

“Allentown deployed twice over the last couple of months. Originally on November 19th 5 members and 2 pieces of apparatus deployed around noon time to LakeView Fire Company in Hamburg.

Allentown 4 our 4×4 Quick Attack Mini Pumper and Allentown 6 our 4×4 Brush Truck were the units we sent. 

Chief Greg Taylor

3rd Assistant Chief Brandon Scott

Assistant Captain Tyler Edwards

Firefighter Ezura Taylor

Firefighter David Haggarty were those deployed

We were deployed for a total of 51 hours to Lakeview where we assisted covering all calls. Due to the high snow most were Ems assists, man power was used to get patients thru the deep snow to the awaiting ambulances. 

On Christmas Day the same members and equipment deployed around 9:30pm to Eggertsville Fire Dept in Amherst. We were deployed for 42 hours where we covered 45 calls for help. 

In the early morning hours Allentown was dispatched to a working residential structure fire located on Niagara Falls Boulevard. Wellsville Engine 2 also responded to this fire. Firefighters assisted members from several Erie County departments to extinguish the blaze. 

Later the same day Allentown members were sent to a Cardiac Arrest call in Eggertsville. Cpr was performed by Allegany and Erie county members. A heartbeat was regained but unfortunately the patient later succumbed to injuries at the local hospital resulting from shoveling the heavy snow load. 

We responded to multiple incidents ranging from Ems assists,Fire alarm activations, broken water pipes, carbon monoxide detector activations, welfare checks, and 1 structure fire. Some tasks that would normally be simple became quite difficult. For example on 4 occasions members utilized the stokes basket carried on Allentown 4 to get residents from their houses out to an open roadway where they could be taken to dialysis appointments. This may seem minor but it is life sustaining appointments that can’t be missed. 

Overall I can’t say how proud I am of my crew and everyone else from Allegany County who left the comfort of their homes. It’s noteworthy to mention while 5 members were deployed We still had several members that covered calls in our own district. They deserve recognition as well

We are used to snow in New York but it’s a reality check when you’re dealing with multiple feet. There were roads we simply could not get down without crawling thru the 5 + feet. It’s a helpless feeling when someone calls for help and you may not be able to get to them for hours. It takes a special set of skills to operate in these conditions, the one huge thing we can take from this is don’t always rely on vehicles. Sometimes it comes down to the manpower. 

In the coming weeks you’ll see local departments training more on the more old school approach of carrying In equipment and doing everything by hand. It’s not always as simple as driving in and driving out. 

Also I would like to note several fire departments from the county deployed including the following:

Allentown, Wellsville, Willing, Bolivar, Richburg, Clarksville, Friendship, New Hudson, Angelica

Many departments were questioned for leaving their own districts to go so far away, but at no time were residents left unprotected in Allegany County.  

It’s an amazing thing to see everyone come together. It’s not just the Fire Departments but also Ambulances, Law Enforcement,Snow Removal equipment, Tow Trucks, almost anything you can think of come together with 1 goal in mind. Many of these came from Allegany County. 

The communities we were sent into truly needed help. That’s one thing this county is excellent at. I would like to express my appreciation to the Allegany County Emergency Management Team for all their help through both snow events. They don’t get enough credit for giving us the opportunity to let our county shine bright 

Thank you

Greg Taylor – Chief

Allentown Volunteer Fire Company “

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