Anthony Tarricone, a member of the Irvington Fire Company, said that though the company hasn’t yet met since the announcement of the denial of a request to create a second fire company in the village, he says the company’s board of directors is pleased with the Irvington Board of Trustees’ decision.
“We agree that the creation of a second fire company would not improve the Village’s current firefighting capabilities,” said Tarricone.
Former Irvington Firefighter Nikolai Kabelev made his proposal to the Irvington Board of Trustees to start a second fire company in July 2012 after he resigned from the Irvington Fire Company following a harassment claim against some members of the Irvington Fire Company that was founded by the Village.
Kabelev—who criticized the company for its spending practices, moral conduct and lack of transparency—wanted to continue volunteering for the Irvington Fire Department, however was told that an old New York State prevented this since it requires fire department members to be a part of a local fire company. He refused an invitation to rejoin the company.
Click here for more background and Kabelev’s response to the denial of his request.
“The Irvington Fire Company continues to operate with the utmost respect for Mr. Kabelev, however Mr. Kabelev has made no attempt to work with us, nor shown any respect towards our organization,” said Tarricone.
The Village offered to have a mediator sit down with the Village, Irvington Fire Company and Kabelev to talk about how the parties could work out their differences and work together to improve firefighting service in the village, however the fire company refused.
“We continue to encourage him to reapply to the company for membership, but his most recent statements in the press clearly show that he does not have healthy, respectful, nor tolerant attitude towards the members of the Irvington Fire Company, and as such we were unable to see the possibility of a healthy outcome from sitting down to mediate with him at this time,” said Tarricone.
The company continues to refute Kabelev’s assertions that the company's practices are inappropriate, and Tarricone says that the Irvington Fire Company is constantly evaluating itself and adapting to the changing needs to its membership, needs of the Village and changing its laws.
In exchange for members volunteering and taking the time out to be on call, risk their lives fighting fires and undergo training—the Irvington Fire Company, a non-profit organization, provides its members with benefits and organizes social events for the Irvington Fire Department, which uses taxes to provide fire protection to the village.
He says the company follows laws and guidelines of the federal and state government, and files the required Federal Form 990 to divulge its spending activities, including sponsored events like: parades, Fourth of July fireworks, the Penguin Plunge, the Irvington Seniors Annual Luncheon, the Halloween Block Party, the IHS Heroine/Hero Awards, trips to Lake George, an annual dinner at the Ritz Carlton and other member and community events. Click on the PDF to read more in the company's latest fundraising letter.
“We will continue to provide benefits to our members in order to attract and retain the highest quality personnel,” said Tarricone. “Some of these benefits include meals after trainings, medical reimbursements, a group term life insurance policy and team building events. We uphold the tradition of an Annual Fire Department Inspection, but have absorbed 90% of the cost from the Village and will continue at honor our past and celebrate our accomplishments at our Annual Installation Dinner & Dance.”