Assemblywoman Karen McMahon (D-Amherst) attended the 2021 New York State Championship Drill to show her support for the Main-Transit Fire Department and presented fire officials with funding to renovate the department’s Station 2. McMahon also announced she is sponsoring a bill that would allow participants of fire department youth programs to observe active emergencies to gain observational experience (A.8100).
The 2021 New York State Championship Drill was held in Amherst on Saturday, August 21 and featured eight competitions between 32 fire department teams. Attendees were able to watch New York's fastest firefighters compete in thrilling demonstrations of their skills.
“Every year, the NYS Championship Drill allows firefighters from across the state to showcase their skills and learn new and innovative ways to stop fires and save lives,” Assemblymember McMahon said. “Main-Transit firefighters, and all of the competing fire departments, worked tirelessly to prepare and gave their all to the championship drill. As your representative, I’ll always work to support the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect Amherst families by supporting legislation that strengthens fire departments and uplifts these local heroes.”
McMahon also presented the department with $130,000 in funding for improvements to Main-Transit’s Station 2 at 5560 Sheridan Drive. The upgrades include an expanded garage to better accommodate fire trucks and an air filtration system to remove diesel emissions from the garage and protect the health of the volunteer firefighters. Adjacent to the garage are new restrooms and showers, storage space, and a dayroom with a kitchen where firefighters can wait comfortably for the next alarm. A new “gear extractor” allows firefighters to wash their turnout gear on site and remove contaminants, including potential carcinogens.
“Research shows firefighters see higher incidences of cancer, and we want to ensure they keep themselves and their families safe from exposure,” McMahon said. “The newly renovated station will help Main-Transit perform its duties of protecting life and property for many more years to come.”
“Main-Transit members debated for several years how best to utilize our aging Station 2 on Sheridan Drive, which was built in 1965,” said Main-Transit President Scott Saxer. “A committee decided it made the most sense to upgrade and expand the existing station. The work has been completed and will ensure we can continue to meet the needs of our community for years to come. The Main-Transit Fire Department is grateful to Assemblymember McMahon for securing funding for our project.”
In addition, McMahon also introduced legislation that will allow fire department youth program participants such as Explorers and Junior Firefighters to observe actual fire calls – from a safe location as determined by the officer in charge – to gain valuable experience. This bill would ensure young people interested in becoming firefighters can benefit from observing first responders in action and help improve training and retention in departments across the state, noted McMahon.
Finally, McMahon presented a New York State Assembly citation to Main-Transit FD Chief Brad Sprague for the department’s quick response and brave efforts at a large fire last month at an Amherst commercial building that destroyed thousands of PPE packages meant for health care workers across the state. Approximately 40 additional fire departments responded to the fire, as well as 10 agencies from all levels of government to provide support.