Montgomery Volunteer Fire Department Chief Robert Reynolds Jr. was named the town’s citizen of the month for September at the town board meeting on Thursday.
Reynolds received the award for his response to the recent tornado and organizing the fire response at the New York International Air Show.
After the Villages of Montgomery and Maybrook and parts of the Town of Montgomery were devastated by an EF-1 tornado the evening of Aug. 27, Reynolds lent a helping hand. His department responded to approximately 21 calls between 6:15 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. the next morning. An emergency operation center was set up at the Montgomery firehouse consisting of Montgomery Town Supervisor Brian Maher, Village of Montgomery Mayor Steve Brescia, the Department of Homeland Security, a representative from Central Hudson Gas & Electric and several others.
Reynolds was asked by the county to coordinate the fire response for the New York International Air Show. This consisted of having enough fire apparatus and personnel to respond in the event of a plane crash or medical emergency. In total, there were approximately 36 fire departments from four counties at the practice run on Aug. 28 and the air show on Aug. 29-30.
Maher commended Reynolds’ ability to rise to the occasion and handle all of these difficult tasks in quick succession.
“Just to see the amount of coordination you personally had to deal with, not just with the emergency but also preparing the next day for an airshow and then two days later for thousands of cars coming in and the pure logistics of dealing with that nightmare on top of the storm cleanup,” he said. “So for that and a lot of other reasons, due to your leadership and commanding of your troops and fellow fire departments and working with the DPWs, Central Hudson, NYSEG and countless other emergency agencies, the town board would like to recognize you.”
Reynolds noted that he could not have planned for the airshow or responded to the storm without help from many others.
“You’ve heard the quote before, ‘it takes a village,’” he said. “But it truly takes a town.”