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New Members Bolster Brocton Fire Department Ranks

Brocton Village Board members Mark Belcher, far left, Craig Miller, middle right, and Greg Borst, far right, and Brocton Mayor Art Miller, middle left, at the Brocton Village Board meeting last week. Photo by Anthony Dolce

BROCTON — Jim Rizzo, the recently appointed chief of the Brocton Volunteer Fire Department, set a goal for himself to accomplish within his first six months: Six new members of the department.

Just one month into his tenure, he’s already met that goal.

At the Brocton Village Board meeting last week, the board approved six new members to join the fire department: Leroy Lindstrom, Lee Lanphere, Michelle Torry, Craig Miller, Dakota Planty and William Hussey.

“The biggest thing that I’m happy to announce is you’ll have six new members in front of you tonight,” Rizzo said. “I put a call out when I first took over, for six members in six months. We’re not stopping there.”

The need for members was put out by David Hazelton two months ago at a village board meeting. Since then, Rizzo and his team have been working hard to gain new members.

“I’m happy and proud of what you’re doing already,” said Brocton Mayor Art Miller. “You’re working hard on bringing things in.”

Rizzo said they would be putting together new member orientations, including teaching new members how to act on calls, and how to represent the village of Brocton. Rizzo noted that the training for some new faces has begun already, with a water training session at Hazelton’s house.

“We did some CPR training, some rope throwing training,” Rizzo said. “We had 10 people show up for that. We had training three weeks prior and 15 showed up for that. We’re bringing it back.”

Rizzo also stressed that any help people could provide for the department is welcome, even if it isn’t directly fighting the fire, making it clear there is a place for anyone to provide their services.

“Anybody who would want to join the Fire Department, we’ll take you with open arms,” Rizzo said.

“There’s a place for everyone, from directing traffic, to driving the ambulance, to helping out making sandwiches at a structure fire.”

And for people that feel like they’re too strapped for time to help out, Rizzo said that any time they can give can make a huge impact.

“The biggest comment we get is that people don’t have enough time,” Rizzo said. “Everybody giving a little means helps a lot. That one body means the difference at two in the morning, that extra person helps get somebody out of a house.”

Even with the six new members, the Brocton Volunteer Fire Department is still looking for as many members as they can get. A requirement the department does have is living within 15 minutes of the fire hall. Rizzo said they have had members from Fredonia and Portland in the past.

“We’re in good shape now,” Rizzo said. “But a year from now, we’re going to be better.”

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