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Answering the call of the community: fire departments gear up for Recruit NY

Fayetteville firefighters pull hose off the truck for a training exercise at Onondaga Hill's training facility.

Fayetteville firefighters pull hose off the truck for a training exercise at Onondaga Hill's training facility. Photo by Amanda Seef.

“When we show up on a scene, it’s that person’s worst day. We can’t do much individually, but as a group, we can do quite a bit,” he said.

“It gives you an opportunity to be inside that line. You’re not a bystander. You’re a person who’s actually doing something to help.”

-- John Winslow

A childhood dream

Kristen Greiner has been infatuated with medical and emergency services since she was 4.

“I was the child who watched Rescue 911 instead of cartoons,” the Fayetteville firefighter and EMT said. “I had an ambulance Lego set.”

So when she came back to the area after college at SUNY Geneseo, she joined the department. She didn’t have family involved, or any close friends or relatives in the service. Instead, it was a childhood dream brought to life.

“I was kind of flying solo,” she said. “But it’s like having another family here.”

Dan Miller agrees. He’s been in love with the fire service since he was a child. At age 20, he’s been involved in Fayetteville for six years.

“Ever since I knew what a fireman was, and what they did, I wanted to be a firefighter,” he said. “It’s pretty much why I get up everyday -- to be a firefighter.”

Others come from a long line of firefighting brothers -- legend families. Generation-to-generation, members join the service because it’s in their blood.

Patrick Rothery is no exception. His family knows fire service. His grandfathers and father were all chiefs in the Tully area. He grew up around the calls, and he knew what he was getting himself into.

“I’d hear the pager go off and watch my dad run out the door,” Rothery said. “I said, ‘I want to do that.’”

He’s a firefighter in Marcellus now.

A new brotherhood

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