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North Castle Daily News

North White Plains Fire Department  17

Stayin’ Alive Still Givin’ It Back

Oct. 16, 2017
Armonk’s Stayin’ Alive non-profit organization helps to improve and enhance the services provided by Northern Westchester’s volunteer fire departments, emergency medical services and emergency medical technicians.

The Stayin’ Alive 5K footrace at the Windmill Club remains their major fundraiser. This year’s fourth annual race in May had 365 people participate and raised close to $40,000, says Michele Berliner, Stayin’ Alive co-founder.

The money raised goes toward local emergency services, equipment to support first responders' services to aid the communities, and to support the emotional well-being of the first responders in an effective way. Stayin’ Alive’s grant policy is to fund eligible equipment supplies that can be used for training, rescue, and medical care for patients. Routine or basic equipment such as disposable, single use, and personal protective equipment are not eligible for funding. Applications submitted to Stayin’ Alive require a final feedback report along with photographs and an explanation of the budget and how the grant was used before the organization is eligible for future Stayin' Alive grants.

This year, Stayin’ Alive provided nine grants to the following recipients of local fire departments and ambulance corps. Berliner and fellow co-founder Christy Saltstein proudly announced the grants which allow first responders to better serve their communities.

Armonk Independent Fire Company was granted a Blowhard Ventilation Fan which can expel smoke and other toxic gases from homes and businesses.

Banksville Independent Fire Company was granted a MARSARS Ice Rescue Safety Sled and 300 foot of rescue tether rope, which is used for quick deployment during ice rescues to provide safety for the rescuer and victim.

Bedford Hills Fire District was granted a Bullard Thermal Imaging Camera. This allows firefighters to view heat in a given area in order to locate a fire or victims within a building or outside a building, at a motor vehicle accident, or during a large area search effort.

Chappaqua Volunteer Ambulance Corps received help to purchase a Lucas Automated CPR Device which can improve outcomes for sudden cardiac arrest victims and improves the operations of medical responders.

Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps obtained a Manikin “Family” and Training. This provides up-to-date first aid and CPR training materials and manikins.

The Independent Fire Co. of Mount Kisco, Inc. got two automated external defibrillators to treat cardiac arrests.

North White Plains Fire Department – 17 accepted a grant for self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) to provide respiratory safety for interior fires.

Pleasantville Volunteer Fire Department purchased a Williams Turnout Gear Dryer, which ensures that protective gear is properly dried to prevent contamination from carcinogens and other types of toxins.

Thornwood Fire Department was granted funds for six personal firefighting helmet flashlight station kits, which include six flashlights, six chargers and six helmet clips.

Save the date for next year's 5th annual Stayin' Alive 5K Fun Run.

5K - 6 Week Training Plan by Access Physical Therapy and Wellness

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
 1 Rest or
1.5 mile
Rest or
1 mile run Rest 1.5 run 30 min
 2 Rest or
1.75 mile
Rest or
1.5 mile
Rest 1.75 mile
35 min
 3 Rest or
2.25 mile
2 mile run 2 mile run Rest 2.25 mile
40 min
 4 Rest or
2.75 mile
Rest or
2 mile run Rest 2.75 mile
45 min
 5 Rest or
3 mile
Rest or
2 mile run Rest 3 mile
50 min
 6 3 mile
Rest or
2 mile run Rest Rest Stayin'
Alive 5K!

Stayin’ Alive Is at It Again

April 7, 2016
Anyone who has had an emergency that has required a call to 911 knows the importance of our local first responders. These men and women volunteer to train and respond when needed.

No one knows this better than the founding members of the local chapter of Stayin’ Alive who were inspired to start up the nonprofit organization because of the lifesaving assistance which was received in 2012 during Superstorm Sandy. There’s no limit to what the founder members want to give back to Northern Westchester’s first responders.

“We can’t say ‘thank you’ enough,” said Christy Saltstein, to the first responders who risked their own lives to save the lives of Doug Saltstein, her husband, and Andrew Berliner.  

Stayin’ Alive, along with first responders, will be at PeachWave in Armonk Square, Main Street from noon to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday April 16. Present the flyer below, or show it at checkout from your smartphone screen, and PeachWave will donate 15% of your total spending to Stayin’ Alive. Or you can round up your total purchase to the nearest dollar and the change will go to Stayin’ Alive.

Stayin’ Alive’s largest fundraiser is the Stayin’ Alive 5K Run and Fun Walk at Windmill Club on May 14 at 8:00 a.m. In 2015, several independent fire companies in Northern Westchester received a total of $36,500 in grants awarded by Stayin’ Alive. The fire companies purchased equipment to provide safer operations.

To register for the race or to donate, please visit

Thank you to Access Physical Therapy who has provided a six-week training plan to properly prepare for race day. Access PT will also be on hand for post race stretching.

Northern Westchester First Responders
North Castle Police
Grants Awarded to Northern Westchester’s First Responders

November 7, 2015
Christy Saltstein and Michelle Berliner are founders of the Stayin’ Alive non-profit organization. On October 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy struck and devastated parts of North Castle’s communities, including Windmill Farm. Today, Stayin’ Alive recognizes local first responders who continue to risk their lives in rescue operations.

We all know how important the first responders are and how they go the distance as they did that day, three years ago. Saltstein says, “We can’t say thank you enough.”

Saltstein and Berliner will never forget the true test of the first responder system when many Northern Westchester departments answered the emergency call for their husbands who were seriously injured during the storm by fallen trees.

The families’ humble gratitude continue to bring awareness and appreciation as they give back to the responders who they say are passionate about their jobs. Stayin’ Alive proudly presented the 2015 first responder’s recipients awards at North Castle’s October 21 Town Board meeting.

The goal of Stayin’ Alive’s annual 5K Run and Fun Walk at the Windmill Club is to raise funds for equipment outside of Northern Westchester’s first responders’ budgets.

This year, Stayin’ Alive raised $36,500 which was granted to the following organizations:

Armonk Independent Fire Company’s Chief Carlos Cano accepted $5,000 to help fund the purchase of a Lucas 2 CPR Chest Compression System. This system will help improve the outcomes of sudden cardiac arrest victims and will improve the operations for all medical responders, said Berlin who presented the grants.

Banksville Independent Fire Company’s Chief Walter Watson accepted a grant of $5,000 to help fund the purchase of a Bullard Thermal Imaging Camera. This camera allows firefighters to view heat in search efforts in buildings, motor vehicles and other large areas, added Berlin.

North White Plains Fire Department’s Chief Andrew Seicol also received a grant of $5,000 to help fund the purchase of a Bullard Thermal Imaging Camera.

Thornwood Fire District’s Assistant Chief Frank Kokodzinski III accepted the grant of $5,000 to help fund the purchase of a Commercial Turnout Gear Dryer. This equipment insures that their protective gear is properly dried to prevent contamination from toxins.

The Town of North Castle Police Department’s Chief Peter Simonson and Sergeant Timothy See accepted the gift of $16,500 for Modern High-Pressure Hydraulic Rescue Tools, aka “Jaws of Life”. These tools allow for quicker and safer extraction operations.

Save the date of May 14, 2016 for the Stayin’ Alive annual 5K and Fun Run. To donate and to learn more, please visit:

Satyin' Alive Armonk
Stayin’ Alive Pays It Back

October 2, 2015
Stayin’ Alive has announced donations of over $36,000 in grants and equipment gifts to local first responders. The nonprofit organization’s grant program is intended to improve and enhance services by and for the local volunteer fire departments, EMS and EMTS.

Stayin’ Alive founders Michelle Berliner and Christy Saltstein are thankful for the support from the community and local businesses. “Thank you for your tireless dedication to the safety and well-being of those in your districts.”

Three years ago, the cofounders' husbands were critically injured during Hurricane Sandy when they were struck by a utility pole. They survived due to the determination, dedication and expertise of saving lives by North Castle’s first responders, which includes the Fire Departments, Police Department and the Highway Department, says Berliner.

Appreciation goes toward all of Northern Westchester’s first responders. Through an application process, Stayin’ Alive grants were awarded for items not funded in their budgets. Armonk Independent Fire Company, Banksville Independent Fire Company, North White Plains Fire Department, Thornwood Fire District and the Town of North Castle Police Department were awarded grants.

The Armonk Fire Department said they are proud to work closely with the Armonk residents of Stayin’ Alive and appreciate all the help and support they have been given throughout the years.

Members of our first responder teams and their support are prepared well for emergency events. “There is an amazing commitment from our crews,” says Barry Reiter, former chairman of North Castle Citizen Corp Council (NC4) Coalition and Town Board Member. NC4 works closely with the North Castle’s Town’s Emergency Management Plan to provide shelter operations. They offer important information regarding emergency kits and contact information in case of an emergency:

Support for Stayin’ Alive comes from its major annual 5K fundraiser race in May.

Grateful to Be Stayin' Alive

May 31, 2015
As the fog rolled off Windmill Lake on Saturday morning in Armonk, the fire engine's siren signaled the start of the races. 283 young and old runners and walkers set out in support of Northern Westchester first responders.

It was a great turnout, with tremendous community support, said Stayin' Alive Charity co-founders Michelle Berliner and Christy Saltstein. This year's second annual race saw twice as many participants as last year.

The first responders who participated in the races, and there were many, felt the support of the community. Residents said they were thrilled to have the opportunity to give back because they know when the 911 calls come in, these ladies and gentlemen will always be there. Just as they were on the day years ago during Superstorm Sandy when a group of North Castle first responders and Highway Department guys put their own lives at risk to rescue the founders' husbands, Doug Saltstein and Andrew Berliner. Saltstein and Berliner were on hand to volunteer and race.

Raising money is the least residents can do to help provide "the extras" for the Northern Westchester volunteer fire departments, emergency medical services and emergency medical technicians. Their tremendous focus and dedication during emergencies are incredible.

Similar, although less urgent, was the focus and dedication required of the day's runners, as they faced the challenge of a hilly course under humid conditions. Congratulations to all participants and to the leaders of the pack: Byram Hills runner Jonathan Mui who finished first in 19:25, and Zuzana Guggenheimer, of Pleasantville, finished as the first female runner with the time of 22:41.

Also much thanks to all of the community business sponsors who stepped up with generous prizes and donations.

If you haven't done so, please consider donating, as donations are still being accepted.

Westchester County's first responders are invited to apply for grants through the Stayin' Alive Charity. Berliner and Saltstein say they would like to see multiple applications from Northern Westchester first responders that will be accepted through the end of July. More information is here 

Stayin’ Alive Event to Support--and Thank--North Castle First Responders

Updated April 3, 2015
Many of us clearly remember the day when Hurricane Sandy hit North Castle and beyond like a roaring train, tearing down trees in her path, leaving some of us without power for 14 days. The aftermath that occurred in Armonk, North Castle, Westchester and beyond is unforgettable.

There were two members of our community who were in a near-fatal accident that day on October 29, 2012. One of them has no recollection of the how North Castle’s first responders risked their own lives to save him and his buddy when they were tangled up in a living nightmare. But as the story unfolded for over three hours, North Castle’s first responders--police, firefighters, emergency services and highway department--made their way through a treacherous obstacle course of downed trees that were tangled in live power lines.

The story is a touching one, one that impacted the survivors, their families and the rescuers forever. The survivors and their families intend to continue to show their appreciation by giving back to the rescue team that saves lives. A rescue team that sacrifices their free time to train and to always be there during emergencies, no matter who, no matter when, and no matter where.

The community is invited to join “Stayin’ Alive” at its second official event to show support and have some fun at the same time. Please join the Stayin’ Alive 5K Fun Run and Walk on May 30, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. at the Windmill Club at 10 Maple Way in Armonk. The Stayin’ Alive team, as a non-profit organization, will continue its mission to raise community awareness and funds for the “extras” for the North Castle first responders.

The Stayin’ Alive team invite the entire community to show their support by registering for the race here: Direct questions to: