Lending a hand in Caroga Lake

By Nathan Stone

On Thursday, August 11, 2016, the Caroga Lake Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. hosted 31 Town of Caroga Summer Youth Recreation Program children, their six counselors and Rachel Simonds, Program Director, at the 30th Kid’s Fire Prevention and Safety Day.  The event was held at the fire ouse in Wheelerville.  The fire department sponsors this program to familiarize local and visiting children (ages 5 to 12) with fire and personal safety. Caroga Kids Day (4)

This year’s presenters included:  Deputy Lisa VanAlstyne and her K-9 partner Sadie, of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office; National Grid Senior Safety Representative – Mohawk Valley, Dennis Reynolds; Gloversville National Grid: Karl Albrecht – Chief Line Mechanic (Northville), Jim Rouleau – Chief Line Mechanic, Amber Bradt – Ops Support, Deana Senzio – Ops Support, Sue Collins – Planning Supervisor, and from Albany National Grid, Lisa Wemple – Community Coordinator;  Hagaman Volunteer Fire Department Public Fire & Life Safety Educator Larry Dawson Sr. and assistants Erica Fegley & Dave Saltsman; and Caroga Lake Volunteer Fire Company members. (Called out for an emergency and sadly missed, were Forest Ranger Michael Thompson and Smokey the Bear from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.)

Fulton County Sheriff’s Deputy VanAlstyne discussed and demonstrated the skills she and her K-9 officer use to perform their job, including searches for narcotics and tracking.  She also talked about the special type of dog required, as well as the extensive and ongoing training that is necessary for these officers to do their jobs. Caroga Kids Day (3)

National Grid used a video and their ‘Electric Village’ to educate and alert the children to potential real life electrical dangers in our environment, and emphasized how to stay safe around them.  National Grid Linemen and staff discussed their jobs to keep us safe from electrical hazards and demonstrated how they use personal protective equipment to protect themselves as well.  They also discussed how they use their lift truck and bucket to help stay safe while working on electrical poles and wires

Hagaman Volunteer Fire Department used their Fire Prevention and Safety trailer to show the importance of and simulate conditions of how home fire protection equipment, such as smoke detectors, actually work and sound.  They also reviewed what to do when you’re in an emergency situation where these devices are activated.

Caroga Lake Volunteer Fire Company members demonstrated fire, extrication, EMS, search and rescue and  wildland fire apparatus, and discussed how it’s used in real-life emergencies.  Members staged mock fire and other emergencies to familiarize the children with how fire fighters and EMTs respond to calls where people are in danger, and to address what children should do if faced with a real-life fire and other emergencies.  The children were invited to try on some of the protective gear.Caroga Kids Day (1)

After a safety filled morning followed by lunch, fire department members used small fire hoses to “cool” the children before they returned home from their educational day.

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