On Tuesday, October 18, 2011, at 9:45 am, a structure fire was reported on Bloomingdale Avenue in the Town of East Greenbush. This neighborhood happens to be directly behind the Howard L. Goff Middle School in East Greenbush where Jeff Tooker is a 7th grade Social Studies teacher and union building representative. Jeff was alerted to the fire by fellow INU members, who could see the flames from the middle school.
Jeff also serves as a captain in the East Greenbush Volunteer Fire Department, and happened to be on his planning/lunch period. He responded to the scene to assist the fire department in extinguishing the fire.
This picture shows Jeff on the right, and retired technology teacher and Rensselaer TA member Ed McCabe on the left assisting with ventilation work.
"There have been many, many times that my fire pager goes off in the middle of the night and I return to my house from whatever emergency takes place just in time to shower and head off to work. I am a volunteer firefighter for one reason and one reason only: to serve my hometown," said Tooker.
"It goes without saying that NYSUT members go above and beyond the call of duty outside of the classroom. I'm sure there are countless brother and sister NYSUT members who volunteer their time in the emergency services across the state, and their time and dedication to the profession often goes unnoticed.
I'm a third-generation graduate of the East Greenbush CSD and it means so much to me to be employed as a teacher in this school district and to be giving back to my community. I wouldn't have it any other way!"
(Jeff Tooker is a member of East Greenbush Teachers Association)
Photo taken by Marty Miller