2020 has been a difficult year for all. The COVID-19 pandemic changed life as we know it. While much of the country did their part by staying home, first responders and essential personnel continue to protect and serve. Here at the Valhalla Fire Department, members never missed a beat. Like everywhere else, COVID changed our day to day operations. Members began sanitizing equipment and the apparatus after each call. Specialized training was conducted to properly protect our members from the virus. Crews not only had to worry about the hazards that were prevalent at incidents, but also had to worry about defending themselves against an invisible virus. Like most challenges, the members of the department adapted and adjusted to the “new norm”.
The Valhalla Fire Department responded to 386 calls for service this year. These calls ranged from automatic alarm to motor vehicle accidents to structure fires. Also, the department responded to numerous calls during Tropical Storm Isias in August. The storm blew down trees and left electrical lines laying in the street, leaving parts of the town without power for days. Members of our FASTeam responded to numerous structure fires in neighboring departments such as Hawthorne, Elmsford, West Harrison, Harrison, Port Chester, Sleepy Hollow, and Ardsley.
Even with the craziness that was 2020 the department had 12 new members join the ranks. Many of these members took the New York State Firefighter 1 class. This class allows members to become interior firefighters. This was an especially difficult task due to COVID protocols at the county training system. Even with these obstacles, members were able to complete their training.
As always, the Valhalla Fire Department prides itself on protecting the residents of this town. Our 100% volunteer organization is always ready to answer the call, even through a pandemic. We are looking forward to a clean slate in 2021. We would like to wish you and your family a safe and happy New Year.