New full-timer joins Wellsville fire department

Morning Journal/Steve Rappach Frank Thorne is sworn in by Wellsville Mayor Nancy Murray as the village’s newest full-time firefighter. Behind Thorne is his girlfriend, Jean Pastore.

WELLSVILLE — The Wellsville Fire Department increased its manpower Tuesday.

Made at the recommendation of Chief Barry Podwel, village 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 after 20 years with the Highlandtown Volunteer Fire Department. Thorne said he will retire from Highlandtown’s department once he starts his new village position.

Council president Randy Allmon and councilman John Morrow both complemented Podwel’s work while the department has 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.

Podwel also gave the November report for his department. There were only three calls: two bomb threats phoned in to the high school and an alarm drop at Shoub Towers. The department has answered 69 calls in 2017, down from last year’s count of 84 calls.

In another matter, Morrow announced that Friday will be the last day to apply for a council seat when John Cianni’s term ends Dec. 31. People can submit resumes by either emailing the mayor through the village’s website ( or by dropping them off at Village Hall.

Interviews will be conducted at 6 p.m. Monday. Candidates will be informed this weekend.