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SUNY Plattsburgh helping city with fire protection

PLATTSBURGH The State University of New York at Plattsburgh has begun a long-term partnership with the city of Plattsburgh to bring potentially lifesaving equipment to the citys fire department. SUNY Plattsburgh president Dr. John C. Ettling presented Mayor Donald M. Kasprzak with a check for $21,500 during the university s celebration of Campus Fire Safety Month Sept. 18. The donation expected to be the first of 20 overall will be used to help the city purchase an aerial firefighting truck. Since the university s founding in 1889, the campus has depended on efforts of the city and its fire department, said Ettling. We depend on you and one of the things upon which we depend on vitally is fire protection. Every week on this campus, trucks roll four, five, six, seven times in response to fire alarms and smoke detectors in residence halls here. It s almost always in response to burned popcorn or dust kicked up by contractors. However, it s good to know, that those trucks are here as quickly as they are. In an effort to solidify the relationship the university and the city have forged over the years, the SUNY Plattsburgh administration decided to assist the city with saving toward the purchase of a new aerial truck over the next 20 years. The estimated cost of a new truck is $850,000. The truck will be an essential piece of equipment for the city, said Ettling. Only 14 buildings within the city are higher than four stories tall, he noted, with seven of them alone being on the university campus. Six of them are residence halls that have almost 1,400 students. The seventh building is Kehoe ... where every day, 125 people come to work, said Ettling. There s no way you can get to the top stories of those buildings if there s a fire up there, unless you have an aerial truck. Kasprzak thanked Ettling and the university for their generosity, further thanking city councilman Chris Jackson, the fire department and its chief, Paul Williams, for their collaboration with the city in the partnership with SUNY Plattsburgh. Every time that I ve approached [Ettling] and his staff, the relationship and the commitment, partnership and friendship has always been there, said Kasprzak. This check here that we are receiving today is something that has probably not been done in the history of this city and I have to tell you, I would hope that people, communities and also businesses follow the lead of what Dr. Ettling has done today with us. Kasprzak assured the crowd the payments will be deposited into an account dedicated solely toward the purchase of an aerial truck.

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