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Tribal Council makes $179K donation to Hogansburg-Akwesasne Fire Department

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AKWESASNE – The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council presented a check for $179,700 on Monday to members of the Hogansburg-Akwesasne Volunteer Fire Department (HAVFD).

This financial support will go for the operations of the fire department. “Our fire department is one of the most important components of our community,” said Chief Randy Hart. “They’ve been in business for 59 years, and it’s really impossible to say how many lives they have saved.”

The fire department operates out of three fire stations and has 16 pieces of equipment including ladder trucks, pumpers, pick-up trucks and rescue boats. “We’re lucky to have such a dedicated group of volunteers,” Chief Ron LaFrance noted. “Not only do they protect the Akwesasne community from fire, they have mutual aid agreements with other local fire departments to help each other in case of an emergency that’s too big for one department.”

The HAVFD has 62 volunteer firemen on its roster. The department dispatched a crew to assist in managing the disaster caused by Superstorm Sandy in late October 2012.

“We’re very appreciative of the support that the tribe has provided us and not just for this year,” Fire Chief Derek Comins said. “Tribal council has been very generous over the years in their support for the fire department.”

The tribe has donated over $1 million to the fire department over the past eight years.

“Our fire department does much more than put out fires,” said Chief Paul Thompson. “They assist with rescue operations and educate the public on fire prevention. These volunteer firemen deserve both our respect and assistance in whatever way we can provide.”

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