To the editor:
Attached is a copy of a release from the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department, posted on its website, regarding Dave Martelle. When I read this, it distressed me that a man with Dave's qualifications was recently terminated as a fire driver by the village of Saranac Lake.
"By SLVFD News Room
"Oct. 26, 2012
"In an effort to introduce the community to our members, we will periodically spotlight a different member. It is our privilege to introduce Alfred 'Dave' Martelle.
"Dave was elected to membership with the SLVFD on March 3rd, 1988. Dave has been named an annual top 5 responder in excess of 15 times for both fire and rescue. It is estimated that Dave has responded to over 7,000 EMS and 3,200 Fire calls in his career.
"In addition to the SLVFD Dave's community service has included little league baseball, teaching learn to skate in the pee wee hockey program, and serving as an Explorer post advisor. In 1992, Dave was honored for his community service by being selected as the King of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival.
"The night of Dave's coronation as Winter Carnival King, Dave did not get a change to fully enjoy the moment. That night at 3:56am, following his coronation, the SLVFD was called to a structure fire on Algonquin Ave. While fighting that fire Dave was injured. Dave would serve out his term as King with a broken arm suffered in this line of his volunteer duties with the SLVFD.
"Dave has served in almost every officer position within the SLVFD. Dave has served as Rescue Chief from 1991-1995 and again from 1997-1998. Dave has also served as the Fire Prevention Officer, Captain/Fire Training Officer, 2nd Assistant chief and 1st Assistant Chief of the Fire Department.
"Dave's training is very extensive and we will just highlight a small sample of his credentials. Dave completed his Essentials of Firefighting Course and his basic EMT course in 1989; he became and advanced EMT and also completed the Accident Victim Extraction Course in 1990. Dave traveled to Montour Falls in 1997 for the NYS Emergency Vehicle Operations Course. Dave became certified as a New York State Fire Instructor (A and B) in 1997. Dave's National Incident Management certifications include the following levels, 100, 200, 300, 700 and 800. Following the terrorist attacks on 9/11 Dave had spent a significant amount of time training for terrorist contingencies. In January and April of 2009 Dave traveled to New Mexico for training in 'Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings' hosted by the US Military and the Department of Homeland Security. In 2008 in Conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security and Texas A&M, Dave became certified in 'EMS Operations and Planning for Weapons of Mass Destruction'. In 2009 in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security and Louisiana State University, Dave became certified in 'Preparing Communities for Agricultural Terrorism'. Dave has numerous other certifications too lengthy to mention in this article.
"In 1993 Dave received the 'Chiefs Award' from Chief Ed Woodward.
"In 1992 Dave received the 'Meritorious Service Award' from the Northern NY Volunteer Firefighters Association. Dave along with Bob Nadon, Mike Dupree, Ken McLaughlin and Wade Sullivan received this award when 2 pulse-less victims were recovered from a submerged vehicle and were then successfully resuscitated. The incident occurred when the vehicle accidentally drove into the pond near the Scarface mountain trailhead in Ray Brook.
"To learn more about SLVFD Awards click here www.saranaclakefire.com/content/awards
"Dave is a lifelong resident of Saranac Lake. Dave must have acquired his drive for community service from his family. Dave's mother Evelyn Martelle served as a member of the SLVFD along side of Dave for several years. Dave lives with his wife Connie on Payville Road. Dave and Connie have 2 adult children and several grandchildren.
"Stay tuned to our webpage for future 'Member Spotlights.'"