Greg, Jen Taylor honored for action in Meservey Hill fire

BOLIVAR — Local firemen and EMS providers were honored at the Allegany County Firemen’s Annual Meeting this week in Bolivar, host of this year’s Allegany County Annual Volunteer Firemen’s Association Convention.

Three big awards were handed out in recognition of exceptional service, with many worthy candidates nominated by their respective departments.

The 2019 Fireman of the Year for Heroism are Greg Taylor and Jen Taylor of the Allentown Volunteer Fire Department.

On Tuesday, May 7 at 12:26 p.m. the Allentown Fire Department was dispatched to a working house fire on the Meservey Hill Road. Upon the arrival of Second Assistant Chief Greg Taylor and Assistant Captain Jen Taylor, the duo reported a working fire. While conducting his scene size-up, Taylor realized that three out of the 11 family members were still inside the residence trying to get their personal items out. Without a moment’s hesitation, Greg and Jen Taylor went into action. Greg went inside with Jen right by the door so they could say in constant communication with each other. With their great teamwork while the ceiling was getting weaker and conditions in the house deteriorating, they were able to bring out the three members of the family.

“I am a firm believer, if not for their actions, the three family members would not have made it back to the family,” said Paul Edwards of the Allentown Volunteer Fire Department in nominating the Taylors for the award. “Their quick action save not one, but three lives for this year’s firefighter of the year.”

The Wellsville Daily story from the fire is available here — https://www.wellsvilledaily.com/news/20180508/amish-family-displaced-following-meservey-hill-fire

Greg Taylor is a Scio grad who works at The Detail Shop in Wellsville.

“At any time I can call Greg for assistance, whether fire call related or not he always lends a helping hand,” Edwards said. “Greg is always one of our top responders and is the one guy I can lean on for assistance when needed.”

Jen Taylor attended Friendship and works at Alfred State College.

“Jen is very dedicated to the fire service,” Edwards said. “She is always there to lend a helping hand, plus she is very dedicated and reliable when it comes to showing up and participating in our functions.”

The 2019 Fireman of the Year in the Service category is Trenwith Young of the Belfast Fire Dept.

Young joined the New Hudson Fire Co. in 1959 and transferred to Belfast in 1960. He served as Second Asst. Chief (1962-1964), First Asst. Chief (1964-1966), Chief (1966-1968) and President (1972-1976).

He was appointed to the position of Fire Investigator for Allegany County in 1976 and 1977. He completed his Arson Investigation course at the Academy of Fire Science in 1976.

Young was appointed Deputy Coordinator for District 1 in Allegany County in January 1978, offering services to nine departments in accordance to the mutual aid plan, a position he's held for decades.

Margaret Thompson, of the Belfast Rescue Squad, was named 2019 EMS Provider of the Year.

Thompson became a Basic EMT in 1991. At about the same time she also became a firefighter. She continued her training in both, becoming an Intermediate and then Critical Care provider with Belfast Rescue. In the early 1990's she was elected as Captain of the Belfast Rescue Squad, holding that position continuously until 2018 when she stepped down.

During her tenure, she helped manage the Squad to move from Intermediate to Paramedic level of certification, and also oversaw the implementation of in house Continuing Medical Education and re-certification for EMTs. Because of her strong belief in the need to spread knowledge of EMS to everyone, she became a Certified lab Instructor in order to help aspiring EMT students become successful. She has continued to work as a CLI to this day, her service in that capacity having exceeded 20 years. She is a long-serving member of the Southwestern Regional Emergency Medical Services Council, vigorously representing Allegany County EMS interests.

She continues to be an active member of the Belfast Rescue Squad, assisting in overseeing day-to-day operations as 1st Lieutenant. She continues her outreach efforts on behalf of EMS, and mentors younger EMTs within the department and in other parts of the county. By doing all of these things, she has had not only a positive impact on those in the EMS community, but on the larger community of citizens as well.

There were also many firemen that were honored for 50 of more years of service to the Allegany County’s Volunteer Firemen’s Association.

Honored were:

50 years: Randy White and Terry Richardson (Bolivar Fire Dept.), James Fleischman (Belmont), Roger Easton (Whitesville).

56 years: Donald Hand and Bruce Caldwell (Belmont).

60 years: Donald Patrick (Belmont), Eva Baker-Cotton and Donna Cooper (Friendship).

62 years: John “Jack” Winterhalter (Belmont).

70 years: Peter Presutti (Belmont).

71 years: Richard Miese (Belmont).