By Steven Vegliante
Now that we celebrated Memorial Day and the official start of the summer season is upon us, the Town of Fallsburg once again is gearing up for an influx of tourists and summer residents.
This seasonal rite of passage has gone on for generations, and this year, like most, our hamlets and villages will be very busy once again.
In terms of the Town of Fallsburg, our golf courses are open, our parks and campgrounds are welcoming back recreational guests, and our town highway department is out on the roads paving, repairing and enhancing our infrastructure. Our police department, code enforcement office, and other town employees are busy too preparing to deal with the influx of tourists to Fallsburg.
Locally, many of the camps, seasonal stores and bungalow colonies are coming alive, preparing for what we hope to be a very prosperous, enjoyable summer.
Along with this influx of tourists comes a need to both protect and serve the emergency needs of both our residents and summer guests. And filling the need in terms of providing the best in first responding, emergency, and medical services is not an easy task.
The Town of Fallsburg is blessed to have a cadre of volunteer first responders in our fire departments and our ambulance corps that meets a very important, immediate need during the summer months who unselfishly provide crucial emergency services that arises with the great expansion of our summer population.
Without them, we could not survive as a tourist destination-or as a community, and our economy would crumble. They not only provide critical fire and EMS services to our residents, but also service tourists, summer residents, and others passing through our area.
And it’s important to recognize the great service they provide us, particularly during the summer months.
Volunteerism is an important characteristic of small town living in the Town of Fallsburg.
As neighbors, we care about one another, and many join our volunteer fire department and ambulance corps, giving their time, their dedication, and even their muscle and bodies, toward protecting and serving our community without compensation or even recognition for their service.
We must also acknowledge the important contribution of Catskills Hatzolah, the largest all-volunteer Ambulance Service in the Catskills, which work hand in hand with our local volunteer first responders. They provide emergency medical treatment and ambulance transport at no cost to all Town of Fallsburg residents who need it.
We have seen over and over again, in great times of peril like Hurricane Sandy, where these first responders left their own families in their time of need and crisis to serve our residents in a very professional, efficient manner.
But to a greater extent, our local first responders make our community safe and secure on a daily basis, particularly during the summer season. They don’t get the recognition they deserve.
Between now and Labor Day, you will often see our firemen and ambulance corps out in our Town of Fallsburg communities dealing with fires, traffic accidents, and other catastrophic events that are yet another aspect of the summer tourist season we have come accustomed to living here.
On behalf of the Town of Fallsburg Town Board and all our residents, I would like to say thanks to these great members of our community for their service and dedication to our town, its residents, and its tourists, summer residents, and visitors too.
We appreciate all you do both during the summer months and year round.