From the Firehouse: July 2020

From the Firehouse: July 2020
by Jack Halchak, Past Chief HFD

The Hurleyville Fire Department is always looking for help, to fight fire or support those that do. We even supply all of the gear and provide all of the training needed, for free. Stop by any Monday night and find out how you can help.
There is some sad news coming from the firehouse. Two members answered their last alarm in June: Chester “Chet” Hobby and Honorary Chief James “Jim’ Minarski.
Chet was a Life Member of the fire department and retired from the Fallsburg Police Department. Because of the virus, visitation at the funeral home was limited. With the help of the Fallsburg Police Department a drive-by of the funeral home was done to honor Chet. Along with the fire department and help from the Fallsburg Police Department, many of the county’s police agencies were in the procession past the family standing on the porch at the funeral home. Once all of the vehicles were at the funeral home we all got out and gave Chet one last salute.
Jim is an Honorary Chief of our fire department and a member and Past Chief of the Grahamsville fire department. He was a Deputy Fire Coordinator for the Sullivan County Bureau of Fire for 26 years before retiring. He was known as BC-3 and his wife Sweetie as BC-3½. I had the honor of being appointed to replace Jim upon his retirement. Jim was active in all aspects of firematics and was well-respected in the fire service. As of this writing, the funeral arrangements have not yet been released.
May both Chet and Jim rest in peace.
Call volume has increased dramatically since our last column. There have been a number of water rescues on the river, and there has been one drowning. We have seen an increase of calls for lost hikers that need to be rescued. The number of activated alarms is also beginning to rise. Even though it has greened up out there it has gotten dry and we have had a number of brushfires. There were a number of ATV accidents involving rescue calls. Sadly there have been a number of pedestrians struck by vehicles. All of this is happening before the summer season has even started.
Finally, some friendly reminders as we start the summer season:
• Make sure your grill is far enough away from the house so you don’t scorch the side or set it on fire.
• Wear a life jacket on the water when boating, especially on the river.
• When hiking make sure you are prepared, good footwear, let someone know where you are going and when you will be back.
• Wear a helmet when riding an ATV
• Be cautious of a fast developing thunder storm and take cover.
• Be safe on the Fourth of July and leave the fireworks to the experts.
Summer is the time to have fun. As a tourist destination our County’s population will continue to grow the next few weeks. More people will mean increased incidents for emergency services to handle. Give us a break and when you see a blue light when it is safe for you do so pull over and let us by.