Garverick Award supports purchase of rescue equipment

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
With the grain bin rescue tube are, from left: Brandon Palmisano, second assistant chief, Benton Fire Department; Matthew Perry, Benton Fire Chief; Mike Lilyea, Lilyea Farms; Lara Chatel Turbide, Finger Lakes Health Foundation; Jere Garverick, widow of Gary Garverick, and Foundation Board member Corry Stork.

The 2015 Gary Garverick Memorial Award, funded by the Finger Lakes Health Foundation,was presented to the Benton Volunteer Fire Department to support the purchase of a grain bin rescue tube.

The grain bin rescue tube is the only such equipment in Yates County; the next closest county with this type of equipment is Seneca County, according to Benton Fire Department officials. Daniel Martin, EMS captain for the department, explains a lot of grain bins have been constructed in the county recently, with more planned. This piece of equipment would be used to rescue a person from inside a grain storage bin if he or she became trapped in the flowing grain.

Benton Fire Department was approached by Gary Lilyea of Lilyea Farms about the equipment when he installed additional grain storage bins on his farm recently. Martin began researching the equipment and applied for the Garverick award, which supplied $1,000 toward the purchase of the equipment. Lilyea Farms paid the remaining amount.

Martin says ropes and harness equipment will be added to use in conjunction with the new rescue tube, and training is being planned. The equipment can be easily transported to other communities and counties, if needed.

The Garverick award, which memorializes the former coordinator of Emergency Medical Services for Yates County, was initiated in 2003. It has been awarded by the Finger Lakes Health Foundation annually to emergency services organizations within the county for specialized equipment, educational programs and training.

The Finger Lakes Health Foundation encourages area residents and organizations to support the Gary Garverick Memorial Fund through their financial gifts so the award can be continued into the future. To contribute to the Garverick award, send a check, payable to the Finger Lakes Health Foundation, to the Foundation Office, 196 North St., Geneva, N.Y., 14456. Note that the gift is for the Gary Garverick Memorial Award on check. Or, visit and click on “Make a Donation.”