Niagara Gazette

June 25, 2013

State firefighters in Falls to mark 75th year

Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Professional firefighters from across the Empire State are in Niagara Falls to celebrate the 75th year of their organization.

"Our members will be discussing a wide range of topics, including current legislation, pensions, and health and safety issues," said Michael McManus of Binghamton, president of the New York State Professional Firefighters Association. Local 714/3359 of Niagara Falls is host for the four-day convention, McManus said, "And they've made all of us feel right at home." 

McManus estimated that 175 delegates and their guests are  participating in the activities, with many of them staying at the Sheraton at the Falls, the convention headquarters hotel.

Delegates were welcomed at the opening ceremony Tuesday by Niagara Falls Fire Chief Thomas Colangelo, Gordon Stewart, president of Local 3359, and Assemblyman John D. Ceretto, R-Lewiston. Some 100 cities, towns and villages protected by professional firefighters are represented at the convention.

General work sessions are set for today with several speakers scheduled before the committee meetings: Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters; Thomas Miller, general secretary-treasurer of the IAFF; and Sam Fresina, secretary-treasurer of the professional firefighters association. A clambake and picnic is set for 1 p.m. on Old Falls Street which will be closed off to vehicular traffic.

The final general session is slated for 8:30 a.m. Thursday to address any unfinished business. A memorial ceremony for association members also is planned.

Before conducting official business, the delegates and guests participated in a golf tournament Monday morning at the International Country Club in Stevensville, Ont.