Fire department welcomes new addition to roster

Frank Thorne (center) is sworn-in by Wellsville Mayor Nancy Murray (right) as the village’s newest full-time firefighter during Tuesday’s Village Council meeting. Standing behind Thorne is his girlfriend, Jean Pastore. (Photo by Steve Rappach)

WELLSVILLE — The Wellsville Fire Department increased its manpower Tuesday evening as it welcomed a new addition to the roster.

Made at the recommendation of Fire Chief Barry Podwel, council approved the hiring of Frank Thorne, who will serve as a full-time firefighter for the department. The move passed 5-0 with councilwoman Rosie Gibson absent.

Thorne joins Wellsville’s fire crews following 20 years of service with the Highlandtown Volunteer Fire Department, to which he was still serving at the time. Thorne, however, said he will be retiring from Highlandtown’s department once he starts his new village position.

Council president Randy Allmon and councilman John Morrow approved Thorne’s hiring, but also took time to complement Podwel’s work while the department had been short-handed.

“I know you’ve filled in on a lot of those shifts when they were on vacation,” Allmon said. “I know you’ve dedicated yourself, and I really appreciate it.”

“I’ve seen a major improvement in the fire department,” Morrow commented.

Following the meeting, Thorne was joined by his girlfriend Jean Pastore as he was sworn-in to his new duties by Mayor Nancy Murray in a brief ceremony.

Podwel also presented November statistics for the fire department, which included only three calls reported for the month. Those included two bomb threats that were phoned in to the high school, and an alarm drop at Shoub Towers on Main Street.

The November 2017 count was lower than a year ago when 11 calls were reported that month. To date, the fire department has answered 69 calls in 2017, down from last year’s count at the same time with 84 calls.

Meanwhile, councilman John Morrow informed the public that Friday will be the last day for any resident who wishes to apply for a seat on village council once councilman John Cianni’s term ends Dec. 31.

Cianni, who filled the remainder of the term left by Murray after becoming mayor, did not run for re-election, and the uncontested two-seat race last month saw Allmon being joined by newcomer Marcus Dalrymple, until Dalrymple dropped out of the race in October, leaving Allmon as the only candidate.

Morrow said residents can submit resumes by either emailing the mayor through the village’s website ( or by dropping them off at Village Hall with mayor’s secretary, Jennifer Soldano. Interviews will be conducted at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11. Candidates will be informed this weekend.