Putnam County Fire Police Response Team

The Putnam County Fire Police Response Team was requested by the Carmel FD, along with Lake Carmel, and Mahopac, to battle an early morning fire that destroyed a home and a pet grooming business and home located on Route 52 which is one of the main north-south commuter routes in the area. Residents escaped with no injuries and no pets were involved. Route 52/Gleneida Avenue, was closed from Dykeman to Vink Drive until about 7:45 a.m. Temperatures were reported to be in the single digits and firefighters had to contend with icing and wind conditions which made operations very difficult. The building was a total loss and the cause is under investigation.
All photos by Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News

The Putnam County Fire Police Response Team assisted with the Putnam Lake Fire Department Christmas truck review. The County Team members take a break after a fun-for-all evening.

The Putnam County Fire Police Response Team assisted at the Carmel Fire Department's 100th Anniversary Parade. According to one report, 47 units participated.

Brewster Fire Police were again assisted by the Putnam County Fire Police with traffic and crowd control at their Annual Parade.

The Putnam County Fire Police again provided traffic an crowd control for the Mahopac Fire Department's Annual Parade and six nights of their carnival.

The Putnam County Fire Police Response Team at the Lake Carmel Fireworks

A fire was reported in the Mahopac Village Center, in the façade of The Feed Barn, around 3 a.m. A response by no less than seven fire departments from both Putnam and Westchester Counties confined the fire from spreading to the entire center, although several neighboring buildings suffered major smoke and structural damage. Operations, apparatus in the road, and a 5" hose lay along Route 6 necessitated the Putnam County Fire Police Team and Carmel Police closing a large section of the roadway during the early part of the morning rush hour. As part of the investigation, a state arson dog was used to check for the cause. As an interesting aside, the fire was located in a shopping center yards away from the team's last call, a dozen days prior, at the Olympic Diner.
All photos by Frank Becerra Jr. Journal News

Click here to hear the fire call from Putnam County Dispatch.

A strange odor was noticed in the (Mahopac) Olympic Diner around 2:00 AM and seemed to be prevalent until 3:00 PM when a patron finally called 911. The owner attributed it to the heat which he turned on for the first time since last winter and told the Mahopac FD their services were not required. Insisting on checking the building, the FD heard crackling in the wall and ordered the building be evacuated. A fire was located in the wall and worked its way through to the roof. Mutual aid was summoned from five neighboring departments and the Putnam County Fire Police Team, to regulate Saturday traffic on Rt. 6 and close Rt.118, where a lay of 700' of hose from a hydrant in Somers fed operations.

Putnam County Fire Police again assisted Patterson Fire Police at the Annual Carmel Central School System homecoming pep rally held at the middle school with traffic and crowd control.

The Putnam County Fire Police Response Team kept Route 301 in Kent Cliffs closed for a crash requiring seven emergency agencies and a lengthy six hour police investigation. A pickup truck that crossed the center line struck a sedan and ended up down a ravine. Three occupants of the sedan were injured and one passenger was ejected. The driver of the pickup was not injured.

All photos by Eric Gross

Mahopac 100th

With over 70 fire departments and an estimated 5,000 firefighters, Mahopac’s 100th Anniversary was the largest in Putnam in recent memory. The Putnam County Fire Police Response Team, along with the Carmel Police and County Sheriff’s Department managed to keep through traffic on Route 6 moving on the East Lake Boulevard bypass almost constantly during the parade by creating an extra lane with highway cones. Saturday afternoon shoppers in the local plaza were not as lucky and could only be permitted to exit the parking lot when large gaps in the line of march occurred. No traffic could be allowed to enter the parking lot during the parade or on the section of Rt. 6 leading to and past the firehouse for over three hours.

Patterson FD was again assisted by the PC Fire Police Team who, along the PFD fire police, numbed a total of 14 officers directing traffic during their Annual Parade. Unfortunately, the 3 sheriffs' units detailed to assist were called to respond to an emergency call just prior to the "step-off" leaving the fire police to shut down all town roads. The parade went off without incident!

The Putnam County Fire Police response Team aided the Mahopac FD at the 6 nights of their Mardi Gras Parade and Annual Carnival.

The fire police team again enjoyed the hospitality of the Lake Carmel Fire Department before taking to the field to assist with the community firework display road closings and rerouting. Fire police vehicles from Mahopac, Patterson, and Lake Carmel and several Kent PD units placed in strategic locations aided in maintaining the bypass. Perfect weather with calm breezes made for a safe and enjoyable evening. It took only about fifteen minutes after the display for traffic to return to normal.

Area fire departments assisted Brewster with this year’s fireworks display. The fire police team joined with multiple police agencies for traffic and crowd control at the Highlands Shopping center off Rt. 312 in Brewster. All of the center’s parking lots, the Brewster North Train lots, a ride and park , and several surrounding corporate area parking lots were filled to capacity to watch this year’s pyrotechnics. The teams main assignment was to seal area lots at the shopping center as they filled and sequentially open them in reverse order after the display. Police estimated there were over 3500 people in the shopping center alone. Merging with the rail parking areas behind the center, motorists had to form into a single lane to ultimately exit on to Rt. 312. The entire exodus took an hour and 15 minutes.

A structure fire in Carmel destroyed a computer business and apartment and forced the closing of Route 52, the main north-south town thoroughfare for ten hours and a response from no less than 11 departments to assist at the scene and move up on standby. Surrounding businesses and homes were initially evacuated disrupting late afternoon activities and rush hour traffic. The Putnam County Fire Police Response Team was called to assist Carmel fire police closing the road at Vink Drive (next to the CFD firehouse) and Dykeman Road. Unfortunately for both motorists and fire police alike, the way around the scene involved a somewhat lengthy circuitous route unfamiliar to many. The cause of the blaze was not deemed suspicious.

All photos by Eric Gross

A complement of half the members of the Putnam County Fire Police Response Team along with many other county agencies, were on duty to protect the bikers at the 2nd Annual Tour De Putnam Bike Ride. The event was rescheduled from the planned weekend due to weather concerns and was sparsely attended by bikers. Obscure worn pavement rout markers were blamed for some riders departing from the assigned course. Team members covered the eleven traffic posts assigned to them by the PC Sheriff’s Department from just over the Westchester County line to Brewster.
The 20th Anniversary & Christmas Party, culminated the recognition and celebration of the Team’s formation by the Putnam County Legislature on May 14th, 1994. Held at the Lake Carmel Fire Headquarters honored guests included County Executive Mary Ellen Odell, Sheriff Donald B. Smith, Undersheriff Peter Convery, and Deputy Coordinator Robert Lipton. At the dinner County Sheriff Donald B. Smith inducted the team into the Sheriff’s Honor Corps for playing “a major role in keeping Putnam County safe by working in close coordination and cooperation with law enforcement…and helping…keep Putnam County the safest county in New York State.” Also at the event, County Executive Mary Ellen Odell and Deputy Commissioner of Emergency Services Bob Lipton, presented service awards honoring twelve charter members of the present total thirty active members.

Click Here for a larger view of the Sheriff's Honor Corps proclamation

Members of the Putnam County Fire Police Response Team appeared before a full meeting of the County Legislature to receive a proclamation recognizing the 20th Anniversary of their formation as a specialized unit of the Bureau of Emergency Services. Accepting the award was Honorary Captain Bill Keating, Captain John Bodor, Lieutenants Tom Filecco and Dan Hill and Coordinator, Chief Doug Casey.
Click Here for a large view of the proclamation. Use your "Back" button to return to this page.

Photo by Eric Gross

Photo by Eric Gross
The Putnam County Fire Police Response Team had a lot of business to transact at their February meeting. To start, Bob Cuomo, Director of Putnam Emergency Services, conducted a AED Refresher Course. New winter caps were distributed and plans continued for the team's Twentieth Anniversary Dinner Meeting. A 20th Anniversary Commemorative T-shirt was unveiled and ordered. A limited number will be available for purchase to non-team members.
It is a little known fact that a member of the Putnam County Fire Police Team moon-lights as Santa. Capt. Bill at Christmas Eve Family Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church, Mahopac where he was welcomed by the pastor, Father Jarlath Quinn.
The Putnam County Fire Police Team's last summer parade request was from Patterson FD.
The Putnam County Fire Police joined Mahopac Fire Police for assistance with their annual parade and six carnival nights.
Annual Brewster FD Parade. Sometimes the Putnam County Fire Police can watch the parade in Brewster from their posts...sometimes, they just have to be content with only their memories!
The Putnam County Fire Police Response Team participated in a MCI ( Mass Casualty Incident) exercise in Mahopac Falls. It was a “active shooter exercise in a school” involving Law Enforcement, Fire, EMS, Putnam County Special teams and the Mahopac School District. The drill required a significant amount of traffic control which was handled by Mahopac Falls fire police and the “team”.
Before the Putnam County Fire Police Team again braved the humidity, heat, and mosquitoes the assist Lake Carmel and the Kent Police with shutting down road for the 4th of July fireworks display they assembled at LCFS’s firehouse for burgers and hot dogs.
The Putnam County Fire Police Response vehicle was again on display at this year's safety event.
The April Christmas Party tradition continued when the members of the Putnam County Fire Police Response Team combined their Annual April meeting with a festive party at Arturo’s in Mahopac. Highlights of the evening included several committee faux chairmen certificates given for “Marriage Counseling” and “Lemon Yellow Regulator”, among others, and recognition of ten year member Pat McQuillan by Commissioner of Emergency Services Adam Stiebeling.
The Putnam County Fire Police Team fire police van (BOES 4) and mobile command vehicle (BOES 3), were on display with other trucks at a “Touch a Truck” event sponsored by the Imagination Station organization held at the Pine Bush Equipment yard in Holmes. The event was held to raise funds to build a 5,000 sq. ft. playground on the Kent School Complex. Team members distributed fire prevention materials to children and adults. Fire police information explaining the part they play in the volunteer fire service was also to given to adults.
Monthly PCFPRT Meeting Quartermaster John Ercole, much to the delight of the team, distributed new jackets. Honorary Captain Bill Keating reviewed the Code of Conduct for Fire Police Officers and then proceeded to confuse all, giving Captain John Bodor his “so called” Baron Von Munchhausen Award (with instructions to hang it on his Christmas tree)!

























Also, in a post meeting ceremony, Putnam County Commissioner of Emergency Services, Adam B. Stiebeling, was presented his team jacket as PCFPRT commander.

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