From the Firehouse: September 2020

From the Firehouse by Jack Halchak, Past Chief HFD – September 2020

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. We can always use help to support those on the front lines. Stop by any Monday night and find out how you can help.
The firehouse is still closed to the public, but we have had a couple of drills. We have answered all calls like we always do.
It is now official: The Annual Sullivan County Volunteer Firefighter’s Parade in White Lake hosted by the White Lake Fire Department is cancelled. The parade committees in the county and the surrounding counties have all cancelled their parades for this year. Next year, the Sullivan County Parade will be in Grahamsville, and in 2022 White Lake will get another chance to host it.
Call volume remains up. There are still a lot of bee sting calls. As I stated in a previous column, it is unusual for the amount of bee sting calls that we are having. Motor vehicle accidents are up, and some have been serious with loss of life. We also continue to have more searches for lost hikers and rescues for injured hikers. Also up is the number of people getting hit walking and riding bikes. There have also been a number of structure fires. One recent one that I was at in Liberty displaced thirteen families, and another burned down the “Old Poppins” in Fallsburg.
It seems that lost and or injured hikers are becoming a weekly incident. When you are going to go on a hike you need to be prepared. Get a map of the area that you will be hiking, let someone know where you are going and when you will be back, and how about you bring a compass? Make sure that you hydrate before you leave and take plenty of water with you. Wear a good pair of hiking boots, not flip-flops like I have seen. How long are you going for? Are you bringing lunch or energy bars? Remember there may not be cell phone service where you are hiking. If you do get lost, stay put. Are you prepared to spend the night in the woods if you do get lost, did you bring any matches or a fire starter? Use some common sense when hiking. Take a couple of short ones before you try a full day hike.
Hurricane season is upon us. Our area has already been hit by one storm with a loss of power. Some parts of the county were without power for a couple of days. Will you be okay without power for a couple of days? It is not too late to get prepared. How is that flashlight doing? When is the last time you checked it? Did you ever invest in a hand crank radio/ flashlight? Do you have enough medication? You may have power, but how about your pharmacy, what do you do if they are closed? If you rely on a well for water; it will not work without power. Have some bottled water handy.
In the event of a severe storm do you have a network set up to let other family members know that you are okay? Have a plan that family members know about if you have to leave your home. Where are you going to go?
Now is the time to plan for an emergency situation when you are dry, warm and comfortable, not when there is thunder and lighting, two feet of snow, and torrential downpours.
Schools are opening to some extent, so the buses will be out picking the students up. Be careful around the school buses. NEVER pass a stopped school bus.
SEPTEMBER 11 is fast approaching. NEVER FORGET.