Betsy Goinski believes, “If you put your mind to it, you can do it.” The Erie County resident proved that point in 2014 when she took the oath of office as the first female Fire Chief of the Town of Elma Fire Company.
Ms. Goinski began her firefighting career with the Jamison Road Fire Company at the age of 16. She joined the Elma company in 2004 and holds certificates and degrees in Firefighting Essentials, Fire Police, Fire Attack, Incident Command, Aircraft Rescue, Arson Awareness, Emergency Medical Technician and other fire and first responder programs.
Prior to becoming Fire Chief, Ms. Goinski served as a Lieutenant and Assistant Chief. As leader of the department, she made volunteer firefighter recruitment one of her top priorities. Outside of firefighting, Ms. Goinski volunteers for numerous community groups and organizations. She also serves as Director of the Elma Senior Center.
Earlier this year, Ms. Goinski was honored as a Good Samaritan for helping a homeless man living in a field near her home. He was traveling from California to New York City and was robbed of his possessions. Ms. Goinski brought the man into her home, fed him, washed his clothes and helped him connect with a relative in New York City.
Ms. Goinski says the most influential people in her life were her grandparents, Matthew and Irene Serwacki, who instilled compassion and patience in her heart. She says that, because of them, she will continue to be a hard-working, understanding and dedicated individual.