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Cassadaga Fire Department holds installation banquet

At the Cassadaga Volunteer Fire Department installation banquet, Cassadaga Mayor William Dorman gave the oath of office to the incoming officers. Shown are Mayor William Dorman giving the oath of office to Dan Russell incoming EMS Lieutenant, Donald Minnich incoming 1st assistant chief, Christopher Frank incoming 2nd chief, Robert Frank, incoming chief, and Teresa Penhollow incoming EMS captain. Seated are Randy Holcomb and Lisa Vanstrom from Senator Borrello’s office.

CASSADAGA — The Cassadaga Volunteer Fire Department held its 2024 installation banquet at the Cassadaga Fire Hall in the village.

The volunteer fire department was organized in 1924 shortly after the village was incorporated, and is in its 100th year of serving the village. During the Labor Day weekend this year, a celebration for its 100th anniversary will be held.

Vice president of the fire department Dan Russell served as the master of ceremony, and welcomed all to the banquet. Russell then introduced those seated at the head table, and the many visitors and guests. Following the pledge of allegiance to the American Flag, a moment of silence was held for the one Cassadaga Fire Department member “who answered his last call of duty,” and for the 84 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2023.

Special guests included Cassadaga Village Mayor William Dorman and his wife Viola, Cassadaga Deputy Mayor William Astry and his wife Roxanne, who is also an auxiliary member and the deputy village clerk, Cassadaga village trustees Cathy Cruver and her husband Ron, Danna DuBois, who is also the fire department president, and friend Andy, Cassadaga Village clerk, Annette McChesney, who is also a fire department member, and Cassadaga Village historian and life members John Sipos and his wife Susan.

Also included were bordering chiefs Jeremy Catanese and his wife Betty from Stockton, Tim Kolassa and his wife Janice from Sheridan, Andy Montague from Forestville, assistant chief Bill Avis and his wife Jackie from Lily Dale, Lt. Adam Ahrens and his wife Crissy from Fredonia, and assistant Chief Andy Anderson from Sinclairville.

The Honorary Life Members from Pine Bush Fire Department Bob Morgenthaler, Scott Morgenthaler, Frank Garvey Sr., Jeff Parsals and his wife Judy attended. New York Fire Department Firefighter Anthony Barruso and his wife Antoinette were introduced. Present from the Chautauqua County Office of Emergency Services were Fire Coordinator Noel Gutman, and HazMat Coordinator and department BOD president Christopher Wichlacz and his wife Tammie, who is also a department member.

Introduced were incoming chief Robert Frank Sr. and friend Becky, incoming 1st assistant chief Donald Minnich, incoming 2nd assistant chief Christopher Frank and his wife Karri, incoming EMS Captain Teresa Penhollow, and current vice president and incoming EMS Lt. Daniel Russell and his wife Rebecca.

Village historian Sipos gave the invocation and blessing prior to the meal. The meal was catered by Super Duper Catering. The refreshment attendants were Nicole Burridge and Ashley Zambotti. The DJ was Anthony Barruso. A special thanks was extended to the many who set up the tables that morning, and to the banquet committee for organizing the evening’s banquet.

Following the meal, the department chief told of the 244 calls this year and the number of hours, and the number of hours of training.

A special thank you was extended to the Ladies Auxiliary by Laura Logan, and flowers were given to Auxiliary members by Katie Russell and Madison Frank. Cindy Goot spoke for the Ladies Auxiliary and this group is very valuable to the fire department. The following were recognized for their years of service with the fire department: Dan Russell and Brett Zarcynski for 5 years, Taylor Tenpas for 10 years, Annette McChesney, Christopher Wichlacz, and Richard Logan for 15 years, Brad Blizzard and Barbara Swansfeger for 35 years, Barry Wilcox for 50 years, Thomas Peck for 55 years, and William Blizzard for 60 years. Fire police captain is Andrew Hastings, and fire police are Debbie Johnson, Dan Russell, Rebecca Russell, and Robert DeGolier.

The top 10 responders in 2023 were David Dunlap, David Muscato, Brett Zarcynski, Robert Frank, Andy Hastings, Dan Russell, Archie Colton, Danna DuBois, Michael Lehnen and Teresa Penhollow.

Dorman spoke about volunteerism, and then gave the oath of office to the incoming officers for 2024. They are Robert Frank incoming chief, Donald Minnich incoming 1st assistant chief, Christopher Frank incoming 2nd chief, Teresa Penhollow incoming EMS captain, and Ran Russell incoming EMS Lieutenant.

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