PLATTSBURGH — Growing up, Chuck Kostyk always knew he was going to be a firefighter.
“It was just something the family did, I guess,” the Cadyville Volunteer Fire Department firefighter said.
At the recent Clinton County Firefighters Association banquet, Kostyk was given the President Award.
In fact, for many of those honored at this year’s event, held recently at the Rainbow Wedding and Banquet Hall in Altona, their work with the local fire department was a family tradition.
Jeff Santor of the South Plattsburgh Volunteer Fire Department was named Firefighter of the Year; Mike Recore of the Morrisonville Volunteer Fire Department is 2014’s Fire Prevention Educator of the Year; and Walt Laramie of Rouses Point Volunteer Fire Department was given the title of EMS Provider of the Year.
Kostyk’s father was a firefighter, and so was his grandfather. His grandfather’s service went back to the 1930s.
That was back in Kostyk’s hometown of Dexter in Jefferson County. In fact, his grandfather was fire chief there and the first president of the Jefferson County Firefighters Association.
Kostyk himself started out in the Dexter Fire Department.
“Work brought me in this direction,” he said, “and I’ve been with the Cadyville Fire Department ever since.”
For Recore, his efforts are a way to reach children with a message about safety.
A former chief of the Dannemora Volunteer Fire Department, he now lives in Morrisonville and so switched to his local fire company there.
His work as a fire-prevention educator has been mostly in Saranac Elementary School.
When he and other firefighters visit students, he always makes sure some of the firefighters are wearing their full gear, and he has several fire trucks there for the children to see.
He also uses Clinton County’s Fire Prevention Trailer, which simulates smokes and heat.