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Croton Falls Fire Department Holds Inspection Dinner

Firefighters pose in front of apparatus at the Croton Falls Fire Department Inspection Dinner.
Firefighters pose in front of apparatus at the Croton Falls Fire Department Inspection Dinner. Photo Credit: Katherine Pacchiana

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – The Croton Falls Fire Department , which serves all of North Salem as well as some of the outlying districts, held its annual Inspection Dinner at the Salem Golf Club on Friday.

Most of the nearly 100 members, who are all volunteers, were in attendance in full uniform as four judges from the Westchester County Fire Judges made their annual evaluation of some of the department’s fire equipment.

The department presented two pieces of apparatus for scrutiny: a 1994 pumper and a 1980 tanker. Also on display was a 1939 Ward LaFrance firetruck, the first new truck ever owned by the Croton Falls department, which was founded in 1892.

“We look at the overall condition, taking the age into account,” said Glenn Scofield, president of the Fire Judges. “We look for cleanliness and upkeep and the general appearance of the exterior and the interior. We don't consider functionality. The apparatus takes part in parades, so it’s important to keep up the appearance.

"This pumper here, could be in competition with other pumpers at some point.”

Fire Department Commissioner Angelo D’Agostino said, "That antique tanker was stored in someone’s garage for years. We cleaned it up about five years ago and had it restored.”

Craig Palmer, who remembered his father, Clarke, building the 1980 tanker 33 years ago, said, “It looks even better now.”

The inspection was followed by the annual dinner-dance, attended by firefighters, their partners, friends and town officials. The event includes the Installation of Officers ceremony and is part of the annual Sweetheart Ball, formerly held separately.

The new officers are Chris Caralyus as captain and Sean Partenio as lieutenant of Companies 1 and 2, Dan Dreyer as captain and Paul D’Agostino as lieutenant of Company 3, and Alan Keeley as captain and Peter Van Scoy as lieutenant of the Fire Police.

Also honored were Chris Richie and Ed Haight, each of whom has reached his 50th year of volunteer service with the department. Brendan McKenney was honored for completing his 20th year of service.

Members of the Croton Falls Fire Department are all volunteers. Special mention was made of the volunteers who most frequently answered emergency calls in the last year. They top six are:

  • Walt McKenney: 169 calls
  • Chris Richie: 171 calls
  • Jimmy Penny: 239 calls
  • Jason Blauvelt: 416 calls
  • Justin Blauvelt: 453 calls
  • John Blauvelt: 470 calls

How did the Croton Falls Fire Department's apparatus score with the judges? “The pumper won, the tanker took second place,” said Scofield. The old truck abstained.

“Their dedication shows,” he added. “They’re beautiful. There were a couple of minor things, mostly just dust. For their age – they look terrific.”

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