Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Squad | Westport Column

It’s wonderful to see so many visitors to the area this summer, and to welcome back all our seasonal residents as well. Seems like there’s a lot going on, though summer isn’t even half over yet. And hay is coming in, which makes a nice change!

For your volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Squad members, the influx of people means that this is also the busy season. Every summer I try to write a column reminding readers of a few basic facts about emergency response in small rural towns like Westport and most neighboring communities. Many visitors are unaware that our Fire and EMS response is all volunteer. Just recently, a patient inquired how much it was going to cost for the medical care and for the ride to the hospital. I explained that as a volunteer squad we don’t charge patients at all. I have to say, that piece of news seemed like the best treatment!

So although we offer professional quality care and are certified to New York State professional standards, we don’t charge for patient care or for transport. Same goes for the Fire Department. From our new Fire Chief, Thad Tryon, on down, we are all volunteers. And we’re always looking for new members. If you think you might be interested in joining either the Fire Department or the Ambulance Squad, drop me an email and I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.

We love volunteering, but it’s also true that it can be a burden at times. Always, that burden falls most heavily on the Chief himself. So I trust you will endorse my speaking on your behalf in thanking our outgoing Chief, James Westover, Jr., for his years and years of selfless and dedicated service. Thank you, Jim, for all that you have given in carrying the unique burden of Fire Chief. And thank you, Thad, for taking it up.

Congratulations to Ella and Holden Decker, Week 1 Winners of the Heritage House Raffle. Thursday Bookends for July 24: call CATS at 962-2287 to find out what happening for Thursdays on the Trail with Charlotte in the morning; and don’t miss Samuel Torres and Manuel Valera, who will give the free Soundwaves concert in Ballard Park at 7:30.

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