Tonawanda News

Local News

November 30, 2009

CITY OF TONAWANDA: Explorer Post wins national firefighter award

The City of Tonawanda Fire Department Explorer Post recently received a $5,000 grant from Dunkin’ Brand Corporation, one of 10 recipients across the country.

The National Volunteer Fire Council, in partnership with the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation, selected the Tonawanda Fire Department for its outstanding junior firefighter program, part of the National Junior Firefighter program.

This is the second year that the program has honored 10 exceptional junior firefighter programs with grants.

David Jacobowitz, vice president of Fireman's Association of New York State visited the Tonawanda Post to present the funds on behalf of the National Volunteer Fire Council.

The Explorer Post, started in 2000, has as its motto, “Our Best Today for a Better Tomorrow.”

Serving Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, Explorers have been crucial in assisting the department during mass emergencies, such as the October 2006 snow storm. Explorers assisted firefighters in cleaning up debris and pumping basements after the storm.

In addition, members assist the department by serving as “victims” during mock disaster drills, according to firefighter Timothy Newman, who coordinates the program.

The Post has a history of welcoming teens with mental and physical disabilities into the program.

NVFC executive director, Heather Schafer noted that the Explorer Post stood out as an exemplary junior firefighter program that is making a positive impact in their communities.

“They are truly dedicated to preparing the future of the fire and emergency services – our youth,” she said.

“We are thrilled to partner with the National Volunteer Fire Council to provide 10 fire departments throughout the country with the additional resources they need to prepare the next generation of fire service leaders,” said Stephan Shelton, co-chairman of the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation.

The money will be used to establish an educational fund for qualified Post graduates.

The Explorer post is seeking community partners to expand the fund.

Contact community editor Barbara Tucker at 693-1000, ext. 110 or e-mail

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