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More Than 80 Local Firefighters Attend Annual Academy

a group of people posing for a photo

Montour Falls, NY – For local firefighters, the fourth weekend in October means Sullivan County Weekend at the New York State Fire Academy in Montour Falls, NY. This year, 84 firefighters from 19 departments (Bloomingburg, Callicoon, Grahamsville, Hortonville, Hurleyville, Jeffersonville, Kauneonga Lake, Lava, Liberty, Lumberland, Monticello, Narrowsburg, Rock Hill, Summitville, White Lake, White Sulphur Springs, Woodridge, Wurtsboro and Yulan) traveled north for some unique training.

Courses offered at the weekend included SCBA (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus) Confidence, BEFO (Basic Exterior Fire Operations) Skills Workshop, Thermal Imaging Camera (TIC), Fire Officer Refresher, and Handling Railroad Emergencies.

“These courses are not normally offered at the Sullivan County Emergency Services Training Center,” noted Sullivan County Fire Coordinator John Hauschild. “The Fire Academy brings in some of the most senior and experienced instructors from around the State to provide the excellent training.”

“The Academy offers a unique experience for all that attend,” added District 5 Legislator Terri Ward, chair of the Legislature’s Public Safety Committee. “The instructors eat all meals with the firefighters and interact with them for any questions and comments about the course content. A lot of knowledge is shared both during and after meal conversations, as well as in the classroom. Many departments that don’t usually work together get a chance to exchange tactics and information on the classroom topics as well as issues back home in their own firehouses. So this is a great networking experience that ultimately benefits everyone who lives in, works in and visits Sullivan County.”

“On top of all of that, on Saturday night there is a prime rib and fish banquet with all of the trimmings, provided by the Academy kitchen staff, that is outstanding,” Hauschild remarked.

Next year’s Sullivan County Weekend will be the 25th consecutive year at the Fire Academy; plans are already in the works to provide an outstanding training program for firefighters.