From the Firehouse: August 2020

From the Firehouse by Jack Halchak Past Chief HFD
The Hurleyville Fire Department is always looking to recruit new members. You can stop in on any Monday evening at 7 p.m. at the firehouse to get an application or to see what we are all about. If you don’t want to fight fire we can use fire police or you can work behind the scenes and support the frontline fire fighters. We do more than just fight fire. We even provide all of your training and gear for free.
Unfortunately, the Hurleyville Firehouse as of this writing is still not open yet. We are responding to all calls as we always do.
The virus has affected us in many ways. Most important is the training part. It looks like that the Sullivan County weekend at the State Fire Academy in Montour Falls will be cancelled. Each year over 100 firefighters from Sullivan County go to classes there on the third weekend of October. These classes are not offered at our local training facility. The State Fire Academy is just now opening on a scaled down version. Classes that were started in March and then had to be postponed are now restarted so those firefighters can finish them. That is what is also happening at the Sullivan County Training facility. The postponed classes have resumed at this time. We will only be able to offer seven essential classes for the foreseeable future. Normally we are running a full schedule of classes throughout the spring and summer months.
Some departments that have their elections in May are just having their elections now. Some firehouses are now open on a limited basis.
Hurleyville has had to cancel the Morningside Fishing Classic and the Bill Carlson Golf Classic.
Many of the County Parades around us have been cancelled, as well. This year’s Sullivan County Firemen’s parade in White Lake is also in jeopardy. A decision will be made on that parade soon.
Many of the fire department fund raisers such as Chicken Bar-B-Qs have been cancelled along with pancake breakfasts. Some departments have resorted to having a drive through breakfast or Bar-B-Q dinner.
Since the Grahamsville Fair has been cancelled, the Grahamsville Fire Department will have a drive through Sausage and Pepper sandwich on Sunday, August 15, starting at 3 p.m. until they sell out. The fair is a big fund raiser for the Grahamsville Fire Department.
On the fire scene, it has been busy. With more people out and about there has been an increase in lost hikers needing to be found and/or rescued because of injuries and there has been an increase in water rescues. Sadly, vehicle pedestrian accidents have also been up. One type of call that I only hear of once in awhile is bee stings and allergic reactions to them. Those calls have been way up the past three weeks, with a couple of days where there were two such calls in the day.
With all of the summer- and second-homes in the county being occupied, the activated alarms are way up. I have also noticed a few more CO and gas alarm calls.
These types of calls are hard to find when you do not have your 911 number posted by your driveway. PLEASE get your house numbered so we can find you.
Fortunately, there have only been a few structure fires since the last column. The month before there was a higher than normal number of structure fires.
Be safe out there and stay hydrated.