For the third year in a row, The Rotary Club of Ellicottville Foundation for Youth donated $2,000 to the Ellicottville Fire Company last week. This donation will help fund new members this year for the EFD Explorer Program. 

This program, in conjunction with the Boy Scouts of America, provides an opportunity for any teen (ages 13 to 16) to become a volunteer fireman in training. This program is to help get younger people trained and involved in volunteer fire fighting. Zach Golley, Kyle Germain and Daniel Tapikin are three young men from the Explorers who have joined the regular ranks of the volunteer firefighters over the past years.

“This type of program fits perfectly with the Rotary Foundation for Youth’s mission and we are happy to help,” said Kathy Trost, secretary of the Rotary Club of Ellicottville. “Our intention is to try to support two new members every year. We believe that this helps the Volunteer Fire Company maintain and grow the EFD who provide a tremendous service to our community. 

Jill Dunn added that, “we are able to provide this funding because of the generous support for our fundraisers like Tuscan Moon.”

The high cost of equipment for volunteers has been a limiting factor for growth of the program, said Debbie Golley from EFD. She said this generous donation will help grow the program and add much needed help to the company.

There are currently seven members of the Explorer program. Explorer members get to participate in meetings and work nights, as well as fire and ambulance calls. During work nights, they learn about various fire trucks and equipment, like airpacks and practice running the hose.  While attending an actual fire, there are restrictions to what they can do to ensure safety, while allowing them to learn. At the scene, they report to the assistant chief or captain for their assignments. 

There are currently five members and three advisors in the program.

Those interested in the program can contact Debbie Golley at (716) 378-1170 or Rob Germain at (716) 699-4293.