SOUTH NEW BERLIN – Whether it be a fire, flood, accident or medical emergency, Chenango County’s volunteer firefighters and emergency squad members are there to help their neighbors in their time of need. But who is there for the men and women of the emergency services when they are in their own hour of need?
Through the creation of the Chenango County Firefighter’s Fund, the Chenango County Fire Chief’s Association will soon have a means of doing just that.
“This is truly firefighters helping firefighters,” explained Norwich Fire Chief Tracy Chawgo, who serves as president of the organization which is comprised of current and past chiefs from across the county.
The group started the fund last year in conjunction with the Chenango County chapter of the Red Knights, a motorcycle club made up of firefighters and EMS members from Broome and Chenango counties.
“The Todd Harvey benefit is what started this,” Chawgo said, referring to a three-day fundraiser held in Oxford in October of 2009 in support of a young man stricken with an aggressive form of skin cancer.
While never himself a volunteer, the Oxford Fire Department considered Todd one of their own by virtue of the service of both his father, Bill, and his grandfather, Bill Sr. The benefit they orchestrated succeeded in raising thousands of dollars to help the Harvey’s cover medical and transportation expenses related to Todd’s treatment.