copied from the Centennial Booklet One-Hundred Years of Fire
Service History 1889-1989, by Sharon Palmateer
The Greene County Fire Police Association was organized March 14, 1962, at
Catskill Hose Co. #5, Catskill, New York with more than 100 men representing
21 companies in the county. Joseph Pavlak of Catskill was elected
temporary President of the Association. Also elected to temporary office
were James Scarey, Vice President; Jack Verdaasdonk, Secretary; Charles Mesow,
Charles Covine and Sanford Eastgate, Trustees. The by-laws were to be
drawn up by Joseph Pavlak. All members present were invited to attend
the Police Training School at the County Court House on April 5 to learn about
their responsibilities as peace officers.
Election of officers was held on May 23, 1962 with the following members being
elected: James Scarey, President; Charles Mesow, Vice President; Jack
Verdaasdonk, Secretary/Treasurer; James Mantz, Trustee; John Murphy, Trustee
and James Marquit, Trustee. Motion made, seconded and passed that Joseph
Pavlak be elected an Honorary Life Member of the Association. Total
membership at this meeting was 47. The By-Laws and Constitution were
adopted by unanimous approval, with the dues set at $1.00 a year and four
At the October 24, 1962 meeting, Undersheriff Joseph Pavlak handed out the
certificates of completion to all members who had completed the Police
Over the next few years, equipment for fire police was discussed at length
with numerous suggestions made. Also discussed was how to effectively
utilize the fire police in states of emergencies, searches, major fires and
the annual Greene County Volunteer Firemen's Association conventions.
On March 31, 1965, Secretary/Treasurer, Jack Verdaasdonk resigned. A big
thank you went to him for the years of service to the Association. John
McDaniel was voted in as the new Secretary/Treasurer.
A Fire Training Conference was held on June 6, 1965 with a large number of
fire police attending. On June 13, a letter of thanks was received from
Elmer Young, Fire Coordinator. He wished to thank all who participated
and helped with traffic control.
The annual raffle was started in 1965 and has been going strong ever since.
Over the next few years, the by-laws were amended quite a few times. One
of the resolutions was to split the office of Secretary/Treasurer, thereby
having an office for each. This took the burden off John W. McDaniel.
This amendment was voted on and passed June 29, 1966. As of the June
1966 meeting, the total number of members who had successfully completed the
Fire Police training course totaled 67, with all receiving diplomas from
During the years 1966 through 1969, the usual business was conducted with the
Election of Officers being held each year. The raffles continued with
much success. Guest speakers continued to talk at most meetings.
On March 27, 1968, Elmer Young was voted in as an Honorary Member of the
On March 25, 1970, a resolution was passed reducing the number of meetings
from four to three a year with the meetings to be held the last Wednesday in
the months of March, June and October. October is the annual meeting
with the election of officers.
The first Past Presidents' Dinner was held in 1973 and they have been held
each year since. The Past President's badge is given out at these
On June 28, 1973, a motion was carried to have a plaque presented to Sheriff
Pavlak for all his help in making this Association a success.
The dues were raised to $2.00 on June 27, 1979 and then to $3.00 on March 30,
1983. On June 27, 1979, Rev. Kinney was presented with a commemorative
badge and Life Membership for his long and faithful service to the
organization. Donald Dingee was voted in as Chaplain.
The following members have been elected to office over the years:
Rudolph Pavelka, Donald Murphy, Emil Bush, John Murphy, William Bauer, John
Smith, John W. McDaniel, Raymond Pfleiger, Henry Anderson, Ralph Karlander,
Howard Winnie, John Grenier, Ernest Christ, Herbert Jones, Artie Smuck,
William McKeown, John Slenzo, William Reich, Sr., Donald Dingee, George Vogel,
Richard Mosher, Sr., George Ferguson, Chester Hotaling, Charles Vincent,
Vincent Monteleone, Robert Hotaling, Russell Cole, Hubert Lee, James Palmer,
Edward Hefke, Rudy Monteleone, Lucy Masterson, Arthur Hamm, Rudy Hilland and
The current officers are: President - Lucy Masterson; First Vice
President - Rudy Hilland; Second Vice President - Alan Mack; Treasurer -
Howard Winnie; Secretary - Alan Mack; Trustees - Arthur Hamm, Edward Hefke and Rudy
Monteleone and Chaplain - Reay Mahler.
The Association has continued to support the County Fire Organizations over
the years. Some of these are the annual convention booklets, the
Christmas parties, the Firemen's Home, etc.. We have been working in
cooperation with the County Fire Coordinator in scheduling the fire police
courses about once a year, as necessary. We are currently working on
obtaining ID badges for all members and a system for county-wide emergencies
on how to effectively utilize the fire police in all types of emergencies.
As of now, the Association has a total of 95 members, including 15 Life
Members and 10 Honorary Members.