first responders

Gino Geruntino / WRVO/File photo

Onondaga County and emergency management officials are taking the next step to help central New Yorkers prepare for a natural or man-made disaster. Officials believe it’s not a matter of if a disaster will strike, but when, and residents need to be ready.

Following a survey last year of central New Yorkers asking how ready they were for a disaster, one statistic stood out to Rosie Taravella of the Red Cross. Most people believe emergency responders will be able to help them right away if there is a community-wide storm, flood or man-made disaster.

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

The National Weather Service predicts 2014 will be a relatively tame hurricane season. But memories of hurricanes like Sandy and Irene, as well as tropical storm Lee, have led Gov. Andrew Cuomo to create the Citizen Preparedness Corps in hopes of training New Yorkers to be their own first responders.

New York State Department of Homeland Security Commissioner Jerome Hauer didn't mince words when he spoke about the Citizen Preparedness Corps training classes.

“Getting the population to deal with a disaster on their own is absolutely critical,” Hauer said.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The recent spike in opioid abuse cases in central New York and across the country has people discussing how to get their hands on Narcan, also known as naloxone, a drug that can be quickly administered in an emergency to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose.

Dr. Jerry Emmons is the medical director for the emergency department at Oswego Hospital. He says Narcan used to be a drug seen only in hospitals, but has made its way into the hands of first responders.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Only days after a fire tore through her home last year, a Fulton woman wanted to make sure the men and women who saved her life were honored for their actions. Now her efforts have grown into a campaign to honor first responders with a national federal holiday.

It was the evening of June 1 when Beverly Belton's house caught fire. She was completely unaware anything was going on, even as the flames burned in the attic above her.

Gino Geruntino/WRVO

Local fire departments and non-affiliated EMS organizations are learning how to apply and qualify for federal grants at a series of grant writing workshops held by Rep. Dan Maffei. Those funds can be used to pay for needed equipment, recruiting or vehicles.

There's a public hearing Monday night for the proposed Oswego city budget, which includes cuts to various programs to deal with a budget shortfall. One of the loudest voices against the cuts has been the Oswego Fire Department. If the budget is passed, the Fire Department could see their ambulance corps reduced, fewer firefighters assigned for each shift, and one fire station closed.

Last month, Oneida, Madison and Herkimer Counties joined an effort to prevent deaths from automobile accidents. The Yellow Dot program is designed to give medical professionals information they need if you can't.