Tag Archives: West Webster Fire Department

Remembering 12-24-12

23 Dec

This Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, marks ten years since the tragic events on Christmas Eve 2012 when a crazed gunman took the lives of two West Webster firefighters, Tomasz Kaczowka and Lt. Mike Chiapperini, and injured three others as they were responding to a house fire on Lake Rd.

Despite the passage of many years, the details are still fresh in our minds. The story has been told and retold countless times, especially as we’ve commemorated the anniversaries of that terrible morning. This Christmas Eve, on the tenth anniversary, everywhere we look, we’ll all be reminded once again of what happened.

But another, equally important story hasn’t been told as often: how, following the shootings, the Webster community immediately stepped up and came together as one, offering emotional and monetary support to the firefighters’ families and to the West Webster Fire Department as a whole.

For five straight days, I wrote about nothing but the tragedy in my blog. I passed along information about memorial events, took photos, made videos. It was my way of contributing and helping the community work through its grief.

As it turned out, the blogs also helped chronicle exactly HOW our community stepped up, and how the people of Webster became more than just a community; we became a family.

I’ve pulled together a handful of those blogs, and with some other supporting materials (and lots of design help from my husband Jack), have created the publication pictured above, which you may enjoy reading as we commemorate this solemn anniversary.

Click here to see the online .pdf, and feel free to print the entire publication if you’d rather.

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(posted 12/23/2022)

WWFD releases details of remembrance ceremonies

15 Dec

The West Webster Fire Department, together with the entire Town of Webster, is recognizing a very sad anniversary this December.

December 24, 2022 marks the 10th anniversary of the tragic Christmas Eve shootings on Lake Rd. which took the lives of West Webster firefighters Tomasz Kaczowka and Lt. Mike Chiapperini, and seriously injured firefighters Joseph Hofsetter and Theodore Scardino.

The WWFD has announced plans for remembrance ceremonies, which they hope will not only commemorate the line of duty deaths and honor the fallen firefighters, but also educate the department’s members and the public about the events of the day, and the assistance the department received that week.

According to 12/24 Remembrance Coordinator Jack Gligora, the ceremonies will consist of a remembrance room, located behind Station #1 at 1051 Gravel Road where photos, videos and items of the department’s four line of duty deaths will be on display. The room will be open to first responders, the public and the media on Friday Dec. 23 from noon to 8 p.m., and Saturday Dec. 24 from 7 to 10 a.m.

Also on Saturday, at 6:45 a.m., a memorial prayer will be said at the West Webster Firehouse Memorial, located behind the station.

For anyone attending the events at Station #1 please park in the rear of the station to keep the front apron open for the department’s members should an emergency arise.

Note that construction on Lake Rd. has limited travel and parking in the area surrounding the memorial, so no formal public events will be held on Lake Rd.

(The photo above was taken at a candlelight vigil held at Barry’s Old School Irish on the evening of Dec. 29, 2012.)

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Instagram.

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(posted 12/15/2022)

Webster community mailbag

23 Sep

I’d like to lead this week’s mailbag with a huge THANK YOU from the Webster Museum.

The recent Museum Barn Sale, held Sept. 15 to 17, was a tremendous success, reportedly the best ever. Museum volunteers would like to thank the Webster community for all the donations, purchases and “delightful company.”

Your support for this — the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year — assures that the Webster Museum will be with us for another year, carefully preserving our town’s rich history.

The Webster Museum is located at 18 Lapham Park in the Village of Webster, and is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Webster Public Library brings these two events your way:

  • Hispanic Heritage Month Night, Thursday Sept. 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. Celebrate the month with a culture-filled evening of food, dance, music, crafts and more. All ages are welcome, and registration is requested. (Click here)
  • Hispanic Heritage Month Crafts, Saturday Sept. 30, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All ages are welcome, drop in anytime and no registration is required.

Also from the library, their big Fall Book Sale is right around the corner.

It happens Thursday through Saturday Oct. 6 to 8, with the best deals saved for Friday and Saturday. Check out all the details in the flyer below.

If your kids are REALLY into fire trucks, then you’ll want to mark these dates on your calendar.

The West Webster Fire Department will hold their open house on Sunday Oct. 16 from 1 to 4 p.m., and the Webster Volunteer Fire Department will hold their open house on Saturday Oct. 29 (during Halloween in the Village). These events offer much more than fire trucks, too. There are demonstrations, giveaways, a chance to check out all sorts of emergency equipment and talk to real first responders. But of course, there’s definitely plenty of opportunities to take a picture of your young firefighter sitting in a real fire truck.

The West Webster Fire Department is at 1051 Gravel Rd., and the Webster Volunteer Fire Department is on South Ave. in the Village of Webster. These events are both free and open to everyone.

Gleason Orthodontics, on South Ave. in the village, will be hosting a winter-wear donation drive from Oct. 1 through Nov. 20.

You can drop off adult and youth-sized coats, hats and gloves at the office, 246 South Ave., during regular business hours.

The Webster Recreation Center, Webster Central PTSA and Webster Teachers Association are also hosting a Concert Apparel and Coat Drive. They’re looking for any size (toddler through adult) of the following items in good condition:

  • Winter coats, jackets, pants, boots and accessories
  • Concert apparel: white and black tops, shoes, bottoms and accessories

Collection boxes are loated at each Webster Central School building through Oct. 27.

On Saturday Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Dr., anyone who needs winter or concert gear can come “shop” for gently-used items for free.

The Webster Aquatic Center will be hosting a Blood Drive on Tuesday Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Aquatic Center, 875 Ridge Rd.

Call 1-800-RED-CROSS or log onto RedCrossBlood.org to make an appointment.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 9/23/2022)

Training never stops for our volunteer firefighters

31 Jan

When an emergency happens, like a car accident or a house fire, we’re always grateful and relieved to see our local first responders show up to take care of things. But during our day-to-day normal lives, when nothing awful like that is happening, we don’t give them much thought at all.

But rest assured, they’re always thinking about us.

That point was driven home to me a few days ago when I saw a Facebook post from the Webster Volunteer Fire Department, about a joint training exercise they held last Saturday morning with the West Webster Fire Department.

The post read,

The Webster Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD) and the West Webster Fire Department (WWFD) held a joint water rescue training session at the Webster Aquatic Center this morning. Several topics were covered including rescue equipment, techniques to retrieve a victim, and how to secure a victim who has been injured. The training session was capped off with some practice on the Fortuna rescue boat and it was discovered just how precarious it can be when several people try to climb on at once! … We’re here for when you need us, Webster!

The two departments are hoping to schedule joint training sessions like this at least four times this year. The next one will probably be a large area wildland search once the weather improves. In the meantime, the WVFD and WWFD hold weekly drills within their own departments. Recent ones for the WVFD have included search and rescue techniques, driver training, advancements in technology, hazmat, air consumption and many more.

Here are a few more photos from the morning’s exercise:

Thank you to Sarah Mossey for most of these photos.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@missyblog)

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New museum will exhibit WWFD history

12 Nov

A new museum is taking shape at the West Webster Fire Department on Gravel Rd., and it’s pretty neat.

The museum is located in its own bay on the north side of the station, specially designed for that purpose when the new station was built in 2019. It’s not a huge space, but it’s packed with old artifacts representing the WWFD’s long history.

I got a personal tour the other day from Al Sienkiewicz, one of about a dozen WWFD members who have been working on the museum for more than a year. Al gave me a quick lesson in the department’s history, including how it was created following a fire in 1925 which devastated West Webster.

The centerpiece of the exhibit is a 1935 Ford pumper engine. Surrounding the engine are displays of old communication equipment, nozzles, first aid equipment and more. Three mannequins illustrate the transition of turnout gear, from a long overcoat to today’s short coat, bunker pants and complete equipment ensemble.

The WWFD also has a 1974 Cadillac ambulance, which replaces the pumper in the museum for six months of the year.

There’s still a lot to do before the committee considers the museum finished … if they ever do. For example, they’re working on restoring a huge 1924 map of the fire district for one wall and figuring out how to best use another large, blank wall on the south side of the bay. They’ll be adding informational placards on some of the exhibits, and Al would like to create a display about the civil side of the department.

The museum isn’t officially open to the public yet, although many people got a sneak peek at the WWFD’s Fire Prevention Open House last month. In the meantime, they continue to collect items for more displays and fine-tune their current ones.

They’re still on the lookout for antique fire equipment to include in the museum, especially anything from the WWFD. If you come across something in your attic that you’d like to donate, drop them an email at info@westwebsterfd.org or call them at 585-671-4141.

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WVFD and WWFD fire chiefs step down

2 Jan

A quick thank-you to two dedicated men who help keep us safe every day.

The last day of 2019 also marked the end of the terms for both Webster and West


Past Chief Patrick “Jerry” Fedele (photo courtesy nejfd.org)

Webster Fire Chiefs.

Jerry Fedele stepped down as Fire Chief of the North East Joint Fire District and Webster Volunteer Fire Department.

Fedele served in the Chiefs Office for the last six years, the last two as Chief. On December 27th Chief Fedele received an award from the Commissioners of the North East Joint Fire District that read, in part,

Bestowed Upon Fire Chief Patrick “Jerry” Fedele for Your Dedicated Years of Service as Fire Chief and Unselfish Commitment to the Citizens and Members of the North East Joint Fire District.

Vince Pratt also just concluded his term as West Webster Fire Department Fire Chief.


Past Chief Vince Pratt (photo courtesy westwebsterfd.org)

During his time in West Webster, Pratt has also held positions as lieutenant, captain, second assistant chief, and first assistant chief

Also during his fire service career, he has served as the Monroe County Fire Coordinator for the 1st Battalion. Prior to coming to West Webster, Chief Pratt served as chief of the Sea Breeze Fire Department in Irondequoit.

Thank you to both for your dedication and service to our community.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.