Again, thank you for your patronage and we hope to see you at the fire house!
Our next member spotlight will focus on current third assistant chief Kevin Mahoney.
What attracted you to the volunteer fire service and how long have you been involved with the Bergholz Fire Company?
My Dad was a firefighter at Brighton #5 so I got to grow up with the volunteer service. I have treasured early memories of the smell of the station and being held up to see the Mack Bulldog hood ornaments on the rigs. I also got to watch Emergency! when it originally aired and even the short lived cartoon on Saturday morning). My Dad’s brother was also active at Brighton and he and my Grandfather also were with Buffalo Fire so suffice it to say – it’s in the family. What has really attracted me to the service however is simply the idea of being part of a group that helps when needed regardless of the time or circumstance. I’m lucky to have been able to be part of that group at Bergholz for more than 12 years.
You are consistently one of the top responders for Bergholz. What motivates you to keep up a high standard?
Around the time I became an officer in the company I just resolved myself to come whenever I could. I enjoy running calls and seeing others who do the same and I’m fortunate that I have a flexible work schedule and an understanding family – I’d be in some trouble otherwise.
What are some aspects of first response that you enjoy the most?
For me it’s a nice blend of some nostalgia, an opportunity to carry on an important family tradition, a way to help out and learn from my teammates and, most of all, it’s simply a chance to make a difference to someone having a bad day.
Is there a memorable call that sticks out over your career to this point?
There are a lot of memorable calls but the best involve getting to team up with our mutual aid and law enforcement partners since those times underscore how good people turn up to help. There’s one call that always puts a smile on my face when I think about it. I happened to be first in a room for an elderly gentleman who had wound up on his back on the floor in a tight space where there was a bright overhead light on. I had to stand over to him to make eye contact and also to block some of the light that was in his eyes. As I started to ask him questions (does anything hurt, etc.) he interrupted me to express his unhappiness with the Sabres logo on my knit hat. So when I heard him say “ahh not the Sabres!”, I took off my hat so I could get back to my assessment when he says a little louder “ahh geez and you’re bald!” I guess sometimes when you’re having a bad day you’re just having a bad day
What advice would you give a new member joining the volunteer fire service?
There are posters that say things like “keep your mouth shut and your eyes & ears open” - there’s just a lot to learn. Even though most new members bring with them a ton of enthusiasm and excitement - which is great - I’d suggest dialing it back. Being calm and in control is the best way to help in bad situations and learning how to manage your own adrenaline boost is important especially when someday it’s also your stress you’ll be trying to manage. Lastly, you’ve joined a special group with a long history and tradition and that’s something to be valued and cared for. All that heavier stuff out of the way, I’d suggest getting a notebook or something similar to make some notes of special events, news clippings, pictures, etc. because there’s a lot of good memories headed your way.
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March 29th, 2020 - Mutual aid fire with Frontier 2176 River Road. Frontier, Bergholz E5, E2, M4 and St. Johnsburg E1, M2 and A8. Adams for FAST and Twin City for EMS