Saturday, October 29, 2016

Wellsville Fire Chiefs, past & present, honored today - plus a surprise

When former Wellsville Fire Chief Robert "Bob" McCracken was wheeled to an area outside the fire training campus in Wellsville Saturday afternoon, he knew nothing about the surprise his fellow volunteers had cooked up. The fire department held an open house and dedication ceremony today for its Mask Confidence Course. This new course is challenging and dynamic and accurately recreates the “real life” hazardous situations that a firefighter may be faced with while operating at a structure fire.The facility was dedicated to Wellsville Fire Chief's - past, present and future.
During brief remarks, Wellsville Fire Chief Shaun Walsh said the training campus has been developed over some time and the  current and past chiefs were "instrumental" in the facilities development.
And here's the surprise which brought tears of joy...while the building is dedicated to previous, current and future chiefs, the building was officially named "McCracken Mask Maze." According to current First Assistant Chief Chris Perkins, the building was named after McCracken for his diligent efforts as chief and for dedicating 61 years to the fire service. Perkins said it was a Department decision that was "just about unanimous."
McCracken was visibly happy and emotional after the announcement was made.

Scenes from the dedication

Bob McCracken - all smiles

Front L-R: Barney Dillie (2nd Assistant), Bob McCracken,
Fran Hann, Chris Perkins (1st Assistant)
Rear L-R: Shaun Walsh (Chief), Tom Slavin, Stan Ingraham, Bill Cavanaugh, John Fleischman

   Younger generation, older generation - working as a team

   Fire Chief Shaun Walsh addresses the audience
   Assistant Chief's Dillie and Perkins congratulate former Chief's
Chief Walsh congratulating those who served before him