It was Kristen Garrison’s great grandfather who started the tradition. In fact, Franzle LeRoy was a founding charter member of the Port Gibson Fire Department back in 1947. Today, grandson Scott DeCook has served as the Port Gibson Fire Chief for the past 18 years. His wife, Pauline DeCook is a 19 year member. Their daughter, Kristen, of Lyons, is a five year member of the Port Gibson Fire Department, and a student at Finger Lakes Community College majoring in Business Administration. She is in line to receive a tuition scholarship from the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY). FASNY has established a college tuition reimbursement program for volunteer firefighters attending community college in New York.
One of Kristen’s grandfathers, Walt DeCook has 43 years under his belt with Port Gibson and on the other side, grandparents Don and Jean Blaisdell are longtime (56 year) members of the Manchester Fire Department. Kristen’s brothers, Steve and Kristopher Kemp are also members of the Port Gibson Fire family. Pictured above from left to right are: Walt DeCook, Scott DeCook, Pauline DeCook, Kristen, Jean and Don Blaisdell and Steven Kemp holding Steven Jr., the next generation of firefighters.
Tuition reimbursement is tied into a student’s GPA, and Dean’s List winner Kristen will receive 85% of her tuition back from FASNY. FASNY announced that the deadline for firefighters to apply for the Fall 2013 semester is October 18th. For more information on the FASNY HELP program, visit http://www.fasny.com/index.php/membership/benefits/fasny-help/.