Massena Volunteer Fire Department firing up grill for next chicken barbecue

Mar. 25—MASSENA — The barbecue is being fired up more regularly at the Massena Volunteer Fire Department as members raise funds to help with the ever-increasing cost of gear.

The latest drive-thru chicken barbecue is set for 11 a.m. Saturday. Delivery is also available by calling 315-769-3408.

This will be the department's second chicken barbecue in two months. Second Assistant Chief Thomas C. Miller said it's necessary to keep up with the cost of gear. Money raised during the chicken barbecue is used for equipment, as well as training and other necessities.

"The cost of everything has gone up. Air packs have gone up almost double. Our turnout gear has gone up like 40%. It's just crazy," he said.

For $10, the department will be serving a half chicken, baked beans, macaroni salad and roll, all of which sell out quickly. So, the department has adjusted the number of meals it's serving to the community.

"We are now getting 540 meals instead of the typical 350," Mr. Miller said.

In addition, Cedar View Golf Course in Massena is donating 50 free passes to play on its course. The first 50 cars to go through the drive-thru line will receive a pass for 18 holes of golf at the course this season.

To avoid traffic jams, the fire department has set up a special route. All traffic heading to the barbecue will be routed from near Phillips Memorial Home on Andrews Street to the fire station. Traffic will not be allowed to enter from any other direction. After purchasing meals, people will be directed to exit out to Main Street.

Fire police officers will be stationed at the intersections of Main and Andrews streets, Church and Orvis streets, and Orvis and Andrews streets to ensure traffic does not back up.

Mr. Miller said it's an early day for volunteers, but worth it for the fundraising effort.

"Timmy Beaulieu's crew starts cooking the charcoal about 4:30, 5 o'clock in the morning. We're there from 5 o'clock to 3 o'clock Saturday," he said.