“It’s great to receive recognition from the community,” says Mike Sasso, chief of the Glasco Fire Company, on the company receiving the Heart of Gold Award from The Arc of Ulster-Greene at The Arc’s annual humanitarian awards dinner on May 5.
“The men and women of the Glasco Fire Department are great community partners with The Arc of Ulster-Greene, and we appreciate the support and protection they provide to the people living in our homes throughout their district,” said John McHugh, executive director of The Arc of Ulster-Greene. “It makes our work a little easier knowing that they are there, any time night and day, to help us when we need it. We are happy that we could honor their commitment with the Heart of Gold Award at our dinner on May 5.”
There are two Arc homes in Glasco’s service area, and the fire company works closely with those who run those homes as well as with the residents.
“The Glasco Fire Department was named our Heart of Gold recipient for their patience and understanding when working with the people who live at Glasco House and Arc Apartments,” wrote Brenda Meeks, a residential director with The Arc. “When Glasco House was opened in 2001, we had many false alarms due to people cooking meals. Through the process of adjusting the alarms, the Glasco Fire Department worked with us to assure everyone who lived there was safe and secure, and there was no real fire. They always showed up, no matter the time, day or night.”
Since the opening, Meeks continued, officials had the alarms adjusted to a “more realistic operational level, but we still sometimes have false alarms, and they always show up, ready to take action if necessary. The firemen have had numerous meetings with our staff, to work out all the kinks. Several years back, the fire personnel asked if they could do a training at the Glasco House, so that they could see the floor plans and meet the ladies who live there in the event there was a fire, the firefighters would be familiar faces.”
“We set up the program to update and construct pre-plans for high risk and commercial properties in our district,” says a note on the fire company’s Facebook page. “As a result of this program, we found ourselves at the two Arc buildings in our district doing walk-throughs, meeting and talking with both staff and clients.”
“It’s a privilege to serve the residents of The Arc homes and the residents of Glasco,” Sasso said. “The community has always been there for us, so it’s important for us to give back.”
In addition to working with the director and the residents of The Arc homes, the fire company sponsors Little League ball teams. It was recently one of the top sponsors of the Get the Dust Off car show at Saugerties High School, which raises money for post-prom activities for seniors.
“We pride ourselves in working with the community, being able to sponsor these events and to be a part of our community,” Sasso added.