The Cassadaga Volunteer Fire Department recently held the annual installation banquet at the Cassadaga Fire Hall.
Danna DuBois, president of the fire department, served as the master of ceremony, welcoming all to the banquet and introducing those at the head table and many of the visitors. The banquet opened with a moment of silence for the two Cassadaga Fire Department “who answered their last call of duty,” the 93 firemen who lost their lives in 2017 in the line of duty in the United States, and the 3 firemen so far in this year 2018. Representatives from neighboring fire departments were present from Fredonia, Forestville, Stockton, Lily Dale, Sinclairville and Ellington. The blessing prior to the meal was given by Cassadaga Village Historian John Sipos.
Guest speaker for the evening was John Griffith, director of emergency services. Griffith served as an Ellington firemen, and Ellington supervisor. In his speech, Griffith said that the firemen are the best cross section of the community, and that volunteer fire professionals help the people in need. Senator Catherine Young spent the evening at the banquet offering many congratulations for all those who are volunteers. All appreciate Senator Young’s presence at this very special occasion.
Special longevity awards were presented to Edward Sisson for 10 years of service, Rex Goot, Ray Haines, James Muscato and Charyle Tyler for 15 years of service, Russell Bly for 30 years of service and David Muscato for 35 years of service. Outgoing chief for the past two years, Terry Penhollow thanked the many who served with her in various fire department capacities. Mrs. Penhollow is the first female chief of a fire department in the county. Senator Young awarded Mrs. Penhollow a County award for her service. The top responders to emergency and fire calls are: Christopher Frank, Garrett Torrey, Robert Frank Jr., Danna DuBois, Robbie DeGolier, Archie Colton, Kevin Peebles, Roger Salhoff, Laura Logan, Mike Lehnen and Donald Minnich.
The John Pattison Rookie of the Year award was presented to Debra Johnson. The award recipient was selected from a group of nominees by a committee of peers. Sue Muscato, president of the Ladies Fire Auxiliary presented roses to the women who serve in the auxiliary.
For 2018, the incoming chief is Chris Wichlacz, 1st assistant is Robert Frank Sr., 2nd assistant is Joshua Newark, 3rd assistant is Robert Frank Jr., EMS captain is Laura Logan, and EMS lieutenant is Danna DuBois. The Cassadaga Volunteer Fire Department answered 279 emergencies in the last year, and worked with mutual aid to neighboring fire departments. The oath of office was administered by the Cassadaga Mayor Mary Jo Bauer. Village trustees Bill Astry, Amanda Kalfas, Theresa Seibert, Cindy Flaherty, and deputy clerk Bonita Mazzone were also present for this banquet.
The Cassadaga Volunteer Fire Department was organized in 1924 and has served the community for 94 years. The village of Cassadaga was incorporated in the 1920’s so that a fire department could be formed. Congratulations and thank you to all who serve and volunteer for the Cassadaga Volunteer Fire Department.