Airport Firefighters Oppose Rochester Fire Department Station Closures

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Fifty-six years ago today, Mohawk Airlines Flight 121 crashed upon takeoff at the Rochester Airport, killing 7 people and injuring 36 others. Airport firefighters responded immediately and were able to rescue a number of people from the aircraft with help from other airport workers and outside fire companies. To this day, it remains the worst aviation accident in local history. While many things have changed in both the firefighting and aviation industries, one thing that has not is our members’ reliance on outside agencies in the event of a major disaster. In spite of our constant training to maximize our crews efficiency, with just five on-duty members there is only so much we will be able to do without help from other agencies.

Last night, the City of Rochester implemented the first fire station closure under its “dynamic staffing” plan, which chooses a company to close during the overnight hours, when residents are most at risk. These closures - also known as ‘brownouts’ or ‘firehouse roulette’ - arbitrarily choose a neighborhood to receive reduced protection for a specified period of time. It’s a tactic that hasn’t been used much locally, but has seen tragic results when implemented elsewhere. In Philadelphia, a 12-year-old boy died in 2010 while the closest engine company was ‘browned out’. In 2017, three people were killed in a Holyoke, MA fire in which the closest engine company was closed. In Wilmington, DE, 2016 saw two children and three firefighters killed in the course of eight months. At least two other firefighters were forced to retire due to injuries sustained at a fire. These are just a few of the many stories one can find by briefly searching the internet.

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Remembering Sam Cooper

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The members of Local 1636 are saddened to hear that longtime Rochester Airport fixture Sam Cooper passed away last Friday, June 7th, at the age of 96. Mr. Cooper was a pilot in WWII before eventually serving as the Airport Manager from 1972-1989. He remained here as Public Relations Director up until a few years ago conducting airport tours and was an almost daily visitor to the firehouse. Sam witnessed many, many changes at ROC during his tenure here and was full of information about the airport and its history. He also had a collection of photos with the many celebrities and VIP’s that traveled through the airport, including several sitting Presidents. His presence will be felt here for many years to come which is “Outstanding, young fella!”

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Statement on the Passing of Richard ‘Dick’ Masters, Charter Member of IAFF Local 1636

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It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Richard F. Masters - Retired Airport Fire Captain and Charter Member of IAFF Local 1636. He passed away on February 21st at the age of 86 following a brief illness.

After serving as an Aircraft Firefighter in the United States Marine Corps, Dick was hired as a Firefighter with the Rochester-Monroe County Airport Fire Department. When the career firefighters joined the International Association of Fire Fighters in 1966, his was the first of nine names printed on the Certificate of Affiliation. He retired as a Captain in 1993 after more than 30 years at the airport.

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Andy Moore Named Permanent Airport Director

Andy-Moore

The members of IAFF Local 1636 would like to congratulate Andy Moore on his recent permanent appointment as ROC Airport Director.  The appointment was well deserved and we look forward to continuing working alongside Andy and his staff!

Andy Moore named permanent Rochester Airport Director - WXXI News

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National Guard Soldiers Thank Rochester Airport Firefighters

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Soldiers from the NY Army National Guard attended this month’s Union meeting to thank our members for the care packages we sent to Afghanistan in 2017. Local 1636 members collected more than 160 pounds of food and hygiene items for the deployed soldiers of B Company, 3rd Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment that is based at Greater Rochester International Airport. The unit and its CH-47 Chinook helicopters were deployed to multiple locations in Afghanistan to directly support combat operations. The ROC-based soldiers paired up with other soldiers of B Co., 3/126 from Maryland, along with the 7th Battalion, 158th General Support Aviation Battalion out of Kansas to support Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

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Airport Firefighters Recognized For Mutual Aid Response to Mumford

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Greater Rochester International Airport Firefighters were among those recognized with a Unit Commendation Award and  Certificate of Merit during the annual Firefighter Appreciation Dinner held October 11th. The recognition was due to our mutual aid response to the Mumford Fire District for an MVA involving a fuel tanker that rolled over on June 11, 2018. Airport Fire Chief Kevin Bardeen accepted the award on behalf of our members.

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Airport Firefighters Participate in Fire Prevention Week

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Fire Departments everywhere open their doors and invite the public inside as part of Fire Prevention Week each year. Gates Fire District held their open house at Station 2 on Long Pond Rd. yesterday and Airport Firefighters were among the public safety professionals there to show off their equipment and educate the public on what we do every day.

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Internet and Website Safety Tips

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Though there have been many scares about what can happen to children or teenagers on the internet, adults should be safe as well. There is no limit to the amount of risk adults come in contact with such as sexual predators, criminals who are seeking out your personal information on social networking sites, buying habits, frequently used sites, and many others.

Here are some tips to help prevent you from being a target:

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