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Carthage forming a fire auxiliary

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CARTHAGE — Although its first official meeting did not attract a lot of new members, a small group of women who want to support their firefighters is not discouraged.

McKenzie Roberts as president, Jennifer R. Schermerhorn as vice president and Amanda M. Santamour as treasurer are organizing a women’s auxiliary for the Carthage Fire Department. The women saw the need to help out the firefighters, especially providing food following or during long fire calls.

Fire Chief Sean P. McHale and head fire driver for the Carthage Wilna Fire District Brian J. Draper approached Jamie Thatcher about starting the support unit.

Although she was unable to take a leadership position, Ms. Thatcher contributed to organizing the unit with the hope of getting the fire department out in the community and getting it noticed for the work it does.

Mrs. Schermerhorn said her involvement was in part a payback for the aid the department gave to her during a house fire in February.

Mrs. Santamour comes from a family of first responders. Her father, Norman F. Draper,is a volunteer in the Lorraine Fire Department and her mother, Bellanne L., is an emergency medical technician.

Mrs. Roberts said the auxiliary is not limited to women. The only requirements are members must be at least 18 years old, be out of high school and have the time to help.

Although nothing has been solidified, the group plans to hold fundraisers and is seeking financial support from area businesses. Funds raised will aid in the efforts to support the firefighters and their families.

The department had an auxiliary up until about 2002, but interest waned and the group disbanded.

More information on the Carthage Fire Department Auxiliary is available at www.facebook.com/pages/Carthage-Fire-Department-Auxiliary/616089931768207 or by calling Mrs. Roberts at 493-1070. Applications are available at the fire station.

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