Newly certified Grand Island Fire Department paramedics, along with training five of its firefighters recently on getting children out of a damaged school bus, have expanded the fire company's capabilities and greatly enhanced protection available for Island residents, according to the Fire Chief Kevin Koch.
Koch said firefighters Scott McCormick, Bob Cieri, Adrian Pilliod and Don Turner passed the required state certification exam for paramedics after completing a yearlong course of academic and clinical training at Erie Community College.
The 130-member department now has 17 certified paramedics along with its 53 trained EMTs, which gives it "a heightened level of lifesaving" ability, Koch said.
Koch also said he was proud of firefighters Jeremiah Anderson, Jon Cinelli, Tim Krecisz, John Podlucky and Mark Sadkowski.
The five completed a two-day "hands-on" course in extracting children and adults from damaged or burning school buses. The simulated emergencies were staged at the Sheridan Park Volunteer Fire Department.
The Grand Island School District donated a bus for the training session, which was designed to better prepare first responders for mass casualty incidents.