Editor:

This has been a very rough week in our county due to the ice and snow storms that occurred.  Thousands of people were inconvenienced, cold and many in danger during these storms.  Without our power companies, first responders, telecommunications operators and DPW employees, it could have been much worse.  With the help of these people, we were able to live through a disaster.  Many people were angry and took to social media to vent, some even going as far as threatening the power companies that worked tirelessly at restoring their power.  Many of these people came here from other states to assist as they do in most major storms. 

With that, I for one would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to these men and women that put their lives on the line every single day for us...some doing it for nothing, i.e. the completely volunteer fire service that we have here in Sussex County.  Our volunteer firefighters responded to live wires down, live wires in trees, roads blocked by downed trees and wires, carbon monoxide calls due to residents placing generators too close to the outside of their homes, accidents, brush fires, structure fires, activated fire alarms due to power surges and outages, road closures and some even witnessed people jumping over downed live power lines.  I want to share with the residents and business owners of this county just how many calls their volunteer firefighters responded to between Sunday, Dec. 1st and Thursday, Dec. 5th.  Following is the number of storm-related responses made by each fire department in our county during this time period.

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Andover Boro FD - 26; Andover Twp FD - 38; Branchville FD - 10; Byram FD - 10; Frankford FD - 5; Franklin FD - 14; Fredon FD - 29; Green FD - 16; Hamburg FD - 18; Hampton FD - 42; Hardyston FD - 19; Highland Lakes FD - 8; Hopatcong FD - 6; Lafayette FD - 12; McAfee FD - 17; Montague FD - 15; Newton FD - 12; Ogdensburg FD - 12; Pochuck FD - 7; Sandyston FD - 5; Sparta FD - 50; Stanhope FD - 0; Stillwater FD - 13; Sussex FD - 6; Vernon FD - 21; Wantage FD - 13; Sussex County Fire Coordinators - 3 and NJ Forest Fire Service - 3.  For a county-wide total of 429 storm-related responses.  We are extremely lucky in this county to have these dedicated volunteers providing fire protection to our homes and businesses.

On behalf of our firefighters, I would like to say thank you to all of them as well as our EMS, Police - local and state, DPW departments, telecommunications operators, and also a big shout out to those power company employees both local and from other areas that worked tirelessly to make us safe and get our county back on track once again.

Happy Holidays from all of us in the Sussex County Fire Service to all of you and your families.

Cheryl Raperto, Secretary

Sussex County Firemen's Association

Sussex County Fire Chiefs Association

Sandyston, NJ