Early in the morning of December 18, a possible structure fire was reported in the Schuyler Heights Fire District in the Town of Colonie. Dave Plouff, a long time Paramedic for the Town of Colonie’s EMS Department was just preparing to end his shift across town in zone 2. After hearing the initial call in the area of his home he had a sinking feeling in his heart – one that only got worse as he received word that it was his house that was on fire.
Dave is a familiar face to most. Many people were taught how to be EMTs by Dave or have worked alongside him in an ambulance, and his name is well known at Albany Medical Center where he also works.
More than any of that, though, Dave is probably one of the most kind-hearted and caring people. He would go out of his way to help anyone that he knows.
He lost everything in this fire except the uniform him had on and the possessions he had in his personal vehicle. No amount of money can replace everything – but we can make sure he has what he needs to get through this troubling time as he works through the process of loss and recovery.
“On behalf of the Colonie EMS Benevolent Association, I have to, once again, express my gratitude and excitement at what we have been able to do as a community of EMS for one of our members.” Said Daniel Murdock, Treasurer of the Colonie EMS Benevolent Association. “The strength of a community is never stronger than when someone in that community is in need. Make sure to share Dave’s story and get the word out that our colleague needs us now more than ever.”
After years of helping others, EMS worker’s home destroyed by fire
Updated: 12/19/2014 10:18 AM
Created: 12/18/2014 12:26 PM WNYT.com
By: Ben Amey of News 13
COLONIE – A home is considered a total loss following an early morning fire in Colonie. And while losing your home to a fire is devastating, the man who owned this house has a unique perspective.
“It’s the pits,” said David Plouffe, who owns the home that went up in flames. “It’s the ultimate.”
A house fire is devastating for any homeowner. It was no different when flames shot from a home on Grenada Terrace in Colonie early Thursday morning.
“The placement of the house is kind of difficult,” said Chief Aaron Fandle of the Schuyler Heights Fire District. “It’s tough. It sits back off the road to get any apparatus to. Like I said, we also ran into some water issues.”
Firefighters had issues attaching adaptors to the hydrants on the street. In all, seven companies and around 50 firefighters responded to the fire. Firefighters say there were power lines down when they arrived, and that the fire may have started on the side of the home. The official cause is under investigation.
Firefighters say there were no injuries in the fire because the homeowner, who works for Colonie EMS, was already at work. “I was still working, I was working at the Central Avenue station,” said Plouff.
Plouff said he heard the initial call, and immediately had a bad feeling. “I jumped in my vehicle, I had a gut feeling, a horrible feeling, that something might be wrong,” he said.
He was on his way home when he got the terrible news. “My fire chief, because I’m a member of the volunteer fire company here also, called me and said, “Your house is on fire.””
Plouff has lived in the home for 20 years. Inside, he was gathering items for an EMS museum in Massachusetts. “So it’s not just my own personal items, there’s other items that were going to have some kind of lasting significance about the history of Emergency Medical Services,” said Plouff.
For years, Plouff has helped people who have been the victims of house fires. He says the perspective from the other side is horrible. “What’s interesting for me, and I guess a learning lesson, there’s no guide,” said Plouff. “There’s really no physical, where do you start? And that’s what I’m trying to pull this together today.”
If you are interested in helping Plouff get back on his feet, you can find ways to contribute here.