President: Catrina VanAtta
President-Elect: Mary Kane
Vice President:  "Six Pack"
Treasurer: Kati Flynn
Secretary: Joanne Lamoureux 

News 2022-05-11
May 11, 2022
Reporter:  Kelly Buck

Wednesday’s meeting:
Monalita Smiley, Project Director
Community Justice Center
Meeting on Zoom only


President Catrina opened the Zoom meeting with the Four-Way Test recited in unison.
She advised that the Pass the Gavel ceremony will take place on July 6th, when Mary Kane will become club president.
Catrina also announced for Jean McPheeters that this Friday (May 13) from 1:30 – 2:45 PM, Jean will be in front of Coltivare to receive donations for the Soap & Hope/Linen Closet collection.
There were no guests or visiting Rotarians.

ANNOUNCEMENTSAly Evans; photo Mike Brown

  • Aly Evans thanked Mary Berens and Heidi Goldstein for joining in a service project with the nearby Rotary District 7410 (conference in Ithaca).  They wrote about 300 “Notes for Neighbors” to go with Foodnet’s Meals on Wheels.  The recipients love them!
  • Geoff Dunn; photo Mike BrownGeoff Dunn shared news from the Nominating Committee; the club will vote next week, May 18th, on these two items: 1) Adding as board Members-at-Large are Richard Kops, Serenna McCloud, and Susan Riley.  Goodbye and thanks to Juliet Gibbs and Gail Lyman as they complete their terms.  2) Joe Giordano has resigned as Vice President, so the Nominating Committee is proposing a “Six Pack” of past presidents to fill that role under Mary Kane in 2022-2023, and then lead in 2023-2024:  Mary Berens, Geoff Dunn, Dale Flinn, Heidi Goldstein, George Gull, and Dale Johnson.


Gary Stewart gave the Thought for the Day, based on the Greek poem “Ithaka” by C. P. Cavafy:
As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.


Ron Provus introduced this week’s speaker, Tom Parsons, former Rotarian and current Ithaca Fire Chief, who spoke on “Challenges Facing the IFD.”  Tom is a certified EMT and was appointed fire chief in 2009; he is preparing to retire in the next year or two.
Tom Parsons; photo Mike BrownTom spoke about the history of fire fighting in Ithaca dating back to the 1800s.  There are six assistant chiefs now and about 50 fire fighters.  All are paid; no more volunteers.  The IFD serves a 30-square-mile radius with about 50,000 people.  There are about 5,000 calls per year, and the department budget is $10 million.
The IFD’s greatest challenges are cultivating the next generation of fire fighters, climate change, and the expansion of services.
Applicants are way down for positions across the nation due to academic and physical requirements.  All departments need to diversify—fire halls are filled with predominantly white men, but that does not accurately reflect Ithaca’s population.  We need more women and people of color.  IFD has been diligently working on this and has made some progress.
It seems the IFD does more of everything else but actual firefighting.  Of the approximately 5,000 calls that come in a year, only about 100 are actual fires!  They are also involved in public education, recruitment, natural disasters, search and rescue (open water, icy gorges, etc.), addiction services and support, drones, weather occurrences (flooding, icy roads, etc.), hazardous materials, water piping systems, and more.  They are in constant training and practice to address all of these issues.
Climate change brings drought and with it, wildfires—so many out west now, but they are moving east.  We need to be prepared.  Fires are larger and more intense than ever, so people and equipment need to adapt.  To help combat their carbon footprint, many fire departments are seeking to replace aging vehicles and equipment with electric trucks and better building materials.

Newsletter Reporter:  Kelly Buck
Photographer:  Mike Brown
Newsletter Editor:  Loralyn Light
Set-up Zoom:  Brett Bossard
Recording Archive:  Paul Martin
Club Service Facilitator:  June Losurdo