NYPA Presents Checks for $20,000 to Nine Emergency Organizations in Northern Catskills

Stephen Ramsey

June 8, 2005

NORTH BLENHEIM—The New York Power Authority presented checks Tuesday evening for a total of $20,000 to nine fire and rescue organizations serving the communities surrounding NYPA’s Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Project.

“These emergency organizations are vital to the towns and villages surrounding our Blenheim-Gilboa project—communities our employees and their families call home,” said Steven DeCarlo, NYPA regional manager, Central New York. “The Power Authority believes it’s important to recognize the essential services these organizations perform, and that’s the reason for tonight’s Emergency Services Appreciation Reception, which we hold annually here at the B-G Visitors Center.”

Worker safety is a top priority for NYPA’s statewide generating and transmission facilities, including the Blenheim-Gilboa project. The backup support and professional advice of area fire and rescue squads is an important element.

In April, the American Public Power Association presented the Power Authority with its highest safety award, the eighth time in nine years it was so honored. Eugene W. Zeltmann, NYPA President and chief executive officer, said, “This remarkable record is the result of NYPA’s all-out commitment to safety—to planning and practice, to training, to attention to detail and to a willingness to learn from experience. It is a tribute to our employees at all locations and to our safety and health professionals.”

DeCarlo noted Tuesday that another aspect of the Power Authority’s strong bond with the area’s emergency organizations is the fact that two of Blenheim-Gilboa’s employees, Steve Wyckoff, apprentice mechanic, and William Davis, chief mechanic, are the chiefs of the Conesville and Grand Gorge Fire Departments, respectively.

In addition to those two organizations, the Power Authority presented checks to Chief Barbara Mann of the Blenheim Hose Company, Chief Marc Lawrence of the Jefferson Fire Department, Chief John Waldron of the Middleburgh Fire Department, Captain Michael MacMillan of the Middleburgh Emergency Volunteer Ambulance Corps., Captain Joe Lombardo of the Conesville Rescue Squad, Captain Ken Cole of the Jefferson Rescue Squad, and Captain Laurel Van Aken of the Grand Gorge Rescue Squad.

The one-million-kilowatt Blenheim-Gilboa Project produces economical power during peak-demand periods by recycling water between upper and lower reservoirs.

The admission-free B-G Visitors Center, housed in a refurbished 19th century dairy barn, features interactive exhibits for children and adults on electricity production. It is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.