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Friday, September 19, 2014
Oceanside Fire District election set for Dec. 10
(Page 2 of 3)
Penny Frondelli/Herald
The Oceanside firehouse is under renovation, so this year

Fortin concluded, “I am asking for the support of the community that I have been a part of for over 60 years so I may see the projects I’ve worked very diligently on come to a successful conclusion. I have fulfilled my promise to be fiscally prudent, and will continue to do so if re-elected. I will continue to be cognizant of the Fire District budget while bringing the best services for our community at the most affordable costs. My promise to the firefighters of our community is to remain vigilant in obtaining the best equipment with the best training that they need to remain ‘Always First,’ a time-honored commitment that the Board of Fire Commissioners and the Oceanside Fire Department still believe in.”

Graham, who owns a floral business in Franklin Square, was born and raised in Oceanside, and is an Oceanside High School graduate. He joined the Fire Department in 2003, and has been a lieutenant and captain.

“Throughout my years in Oceanside, I have helped various community efforts, including delivering food and toys to those in need, educating the community about fire prevention and supporting numerous community organizations,” he said. “I served as captain during one of the most difficult times for the Oceanside Fire Department, Hurricane Sandy. I spent countless hours leading members as we handled the seemingly endless stream of calls from the residents of Oceanside looking for help.”

Graham said that, a year after Sandy, the department is no better prepared than it was before the storm. “We have not purchased equipment needed for future storms,” he said. “Firehouses are still not completed. Recently, the Board of Fire Commissioners has approved a $3 million renovation and spent over $600,000 to purchase a house, but has done nothing to improve our preparedness.”

Graham insisted that the main focus of the fire commissioners should be the daily activity of the Fire District — the management of employees, the maintenance of buildings and the purchase of equipment. “Commissioners should not be in charge at fires, auto accidents or medical emergencies,” he said. “That is the job of the chiefs, not the commissioners.”

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