Greene County Fire Police Association

copied from the Centennial Booklet One-Hundred Years of Fire Service History 1889-1989, by Sharon Palmateer



The Greene County Fire Police Association was organized March 14, 1962, at Catskill Hose Co. #5, Catskill, New York with more than 100 men representing 21 companies in the county.  Joseph Pavlak of Catskill was elected temporary President of the Association.  Also elected to temporary office were James Scarey, Vice President; Jack Verdaasdonk, Secretary; Charles Mesow, Charles Covine and Sanford Eastgate, Trustees.  The by-laws were to be drawn up by Joseph Pavlak.  All members present were invited to attend the Police Training School at the County Court House on April 5 to learn about their responsibilities as peace officers.
 
Election of officers was held on May 23, 1962 with the following members being elected:  James Scarey, President; Charles Mesow, Vice President; Jack Verdaasdonk, Secretary/Treasurer; James Mantz, Trustee; John Murphy, Trustee and James Marquit, Trustee.  Motion made, seconded and passed that Joseph Pavlak be elected an Honorary Life Member of the Association.  Total membership at this meeting was 47.  The By-Laws and Constitution were adopted by unanimous approval, with the dues set at $1.00 a year and four quarterly meetings.
 
At the October 24, 1962 meeting, Undersheriff Joseph Pavlak handed out the certificates of completion to all members who had completed the Police Training School.
 
Over the next few years, equipment for fire police was discussed at length with numerous suggestions made.  Also discussed was how to effectively utilize the fire police in states of emergencies, searches, major fires and the annual Greene County Volunteer Firemen's Association conventions.
 
On March 31, 1965, Secretary/Treasurer, Jack Verdaasdonk resigned.  A big thank you went to him for the years of service to the Association.  John McDaniel was voted in as the new Secretary/Treasurer.
 
A Fire Training Conference was held on June 6, 1965 with a large number of fire police attending.  On June 13, a letter of thanks was received from Elmer Young, Fire Coordinator.  He wished to thank all who participated and helped with traffic control.
 
The annual raffle was started in 1965 and has been going strong ever since.
 
Over the next few years, the by-laws were amended quite a few times.  One of the resolutions was to split the office of Secretary/Treasurer, thereby having an office for each.  This took the burden off John W. McDaniel.  This amendment was voted on and passed June 29, 1966.  As of the June 1966 meeting, the total number of members who had successfully completed the Fire Police training course totaled 67, with all receiving diplomas from Coordinator Young.
 
During the years 1966 through 1969, the usual business was conducted with the Election of Officers being held each year.  The raffles continued with much success.  Guest speakers continued to talk at most meetings.  On March 27, 1968, Elmer Young was voted in as an Honorary Member of the Association.
 
On March 25, 1970, a resolution was passed reducing the number of meetings from four to three a year with the meetings to be held the last Wednesday in the months of March, June and October.  October is the annual meeting with the election of officers.
 
The first Past Presidents' Dinner was held in 1973 and they have been held each year since.  The Past President's badge is given out at these dinners.
 
On June 28, 1973, a motion was carried to have a plaque presented to Sheriff Pavlak for all his help in making this Association a success.
 
The dues were raised to $2.00 on June 27, 1979 and then to $3.00 on March 30, 1983.  On June 27, 1979, Rev. Kinney was presented with a commemorative badge and Life Membership for his long and faithful service to the organization.  Donald Dingee was voted in as Chaplain.
 
The following members have been elected to office over the years:  Rudolph Pavelka, Donald Murphy, Emil Bush, John Murphy, William Bauer, John Smith, John W. McDaniel, Raymond Pfleiger, Henry Anderson, Ralph Karlander, Howard Winnie, John Grenier, Ernest Christ, Herbert Jones, Artie Smuck, William McKeown, John Slenzo, William Reich, Sr., Donald Dingee, George Vogel, Richard Mosher, Sr., George Ferguson, Chester Hotaling, Charles Vincent, Vincent Monteleone, Robert Hotaling, Russell Cole, Hubert Lee, James Palmer, Edward Hefke, Rudy Monteleone, Lucy Masterson, Arthur Hamm, Rudy Hilland and Alan Mack.
 
The current officers are:  President - Lucy Masterson; First Vice President - Rudy Hilland; Second Vice President - Alan Mack; Treasurer - Howard Winnie; Secretary - Alan Mack; Trustees - Arthur Hamm, Edward Hefke and Rudy Monteleone and Chaplain - Reay Mahler.
 
The Association has continued to support the County Fire Organizations over the years.  Some of these are the annual convention booklets, the Christmas parties, the Firemen's Home, etc..  We have been working in cooperation with the County Fire Coordinator in scheduling the fire police courses about once a year, as necessary.  We are currently working on obtaining ID badges for all members and a system for county-wide emergencies on how to effectively utilize the fire police in all types of emergencies.
 
As of now, the Association has a total of 95 members, including 15 Life Members and 10 Honorary Members.

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