Seneca Fire holds Annual Installation Dinner

By Megan Torres, Reporter

On January 24th, Seneca Fire held its 53rd Annual Installation Dinner. This year’s theme was “Disco” and so many attendees really dressed up for the part! The Fire Hall was literally transformed into a disco complete with the flashy lights and an illuminated dance floor. There was also a disco themed photo booth set up which was ran by Seneca Media. The evening opened up with the Invocation by Nyla Rivera, daughter of Nicole Moses. Dinner was provided by Chiavetta’s Catering.

Beginning the program was the swearing in of Executive Officers, Line Officers and Board of Directors which was done by Marta Kettle, Deputy Clerk.

That night of the Installation Dinner also happened to fall on President Armstrong’s birthday so before his speech, he was presented with a birthday cake complete with flaming candles with several guests shooting off confetti cannons. After the celebration of the President’s birthday, he began his speech talking about how Seneca Fire plays an important role to the Nation, “As a Nation our goal is to create vibrant and strong communities on our territories and public safety is at the root of that goal. Our support services facilities exist so that our Seneca people and their families have the basic necessities of life, some place to turn for assistance and ultimately a better quality of life. The men and women of Seneca Fire Cattaraugus Territory are the gatekeepers of that promise.” Speaking directly to the dedicated members of Seneca Fire, President Armstrong gave his thanks to them: “When the call comes, you answer. When the alarm sounds, you respond. You’ve all taken an oath to provide the community with a blanket of protection and commitment to serve and respond regardless of the situation. Each of you have put the community ahead of yourselves and for that our Nation thanks you, our people thank you, the Cattaraugus community thanks you and I thank you… May the creator always protect you as you work to keep our community safe.”

The next special guest to speak was Treasurer Matt Pagels. He started off by congratulating all of the Seneca Fire officers and members and spoke about how a community is more than just a spot on a map, it is a sense of belonging and having a bond that connects everyone to each other. He then went on to say, “When you volunteer to protect a community, you are protecting more than people and buildings, you are protecting the very spirit of what drives each of us to call this Seneca Nation home.”

Every year, Seneca Fire members who have passed on are honored with a memorial plaque that is placed on the wall with other past members. New this year, family members were presented with two plaques, one for the wall and one for them to take home and display. This year four members were honored:

Barry E. Snyder, Sr.
Gary Nephew, Sr.
Daniel Huff, Sr.
Walden Gioffreda

The award presentation ended with Chief Presley Redeye giving thanks to the decorating crew then attendees were able to enjoy a fireworks display and the photo booth. Congratulations to all who were sworn in and to the award recipients!

The following Seneca Fire members were sworn in during the awards ceremony:

Executive Officers
President – Scott Lay
Vice President – Terry Nephew
Treasurer – Ten-Nia Thomas
Recording Secretary – Leigh Ann Jackson
Financial Secretary – Nathaniel John Bingo Chair – Terry Nephew
Building Chairman – Stanley Francis
Sergeant at Arms – Lisa Longboat
Steward – Jaimye Kelly
Delegates – Timothy Maude & Lisa Longboat

Line Officers
Chief – Presley Redeye
1st Assistant Chief – Duane Carry Moccasin
2nd Assistant Chief – Elias Redeye
3rd Assistant Chief – Michele Redeye

Board of Directors
Mike General
Joni Jackson
Patrice John
Nadine Pierce
Steve Schindler

Alternate Board of Directors
William John IV, Joni Jackson,
Shannon Jackson, Cheryl Pierce,
Jennifer Maybee & Lisa Longboat

Auxiliary Officers
President – Heather Cooper
Vice President – Katie Swantek
Secretary – Jayde Jimerson

The following individuals were honored with special awards for their hard work & dedication to the community:

Mich ael C. Redeye Award – Fireman of the Year
Malcom “Sonny” Wheeler

EMT of the Year Award
Stanley Francis

Rookie of the Year Award
Seth White, Sr.

Above & Beyond Award
Evan Russels
Matt John
Tracy Matteson
Zachary Militello

Top 10 Responders

  1. Malcolm “Sonny” Wheeler
  2. William John IV
  3. Patrice John
  4. Stanley Francis
  5. Joni Jackson
  6. Rory Wheeler
  7. Matthew John
  8. Leigh Snow
  9. Peter Chiavetta
  10. Seth White

5 Years of Service
Patrice John, William John IV,
Walter Wilcox

30 Years of Service
Dana Maybee

45 Years of Service
Doris Patterson & Rusty Doxtator

William Warrior Award
Frank Boice, Collins Center Fire Co.

Linda “Soupy” Doxtator Award
Jayde Jimerson

20 Years of Service w/ Auxiliary
Katie Swantek

Memorial Ceremony
Barry E. Snyder, Sr.
Gary Nephew, Sr.
Daniel Huff, Sr.
Walden Gioffreda