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Lumberland looks at volunteer retirement, rejects road rally

August 14, 2012

The Lumberland Town Board announced at its monthly meeting on August 8 that it will be considering a proposal to establish a Service Award Program for active volunteer members in the Lumberland Fire Department. According to the town’s website, the Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP) is a simple type of retirement program intended to help the town recruit and retain volunteers.

The proposition would appear on the ballot at the general election on November 6 so that residents can approve or disapprove the establishment of the program through a public referendum. In advance, the town board will hold a public information meeting on August 29 at 7 p.m. at the town hall in Glen Spey to discuss the program with residents and to answer questions.

A representative from Penflex, Inc., the firm hired by the town to administer services for the proposed program, will explain the program at the meeting. (Visit www.townoflumberland.org/news/notice.php to see the proposed Service Award Program).

Lumberland Fire Department president Ann Steimle, who, along with Don “Bosco” Hunt Jr., was named 2011 Sullivan County Firefighter of the Year (see http://bit.ly/NlJO5k), said that Lumberland is fortunate to have a dynamic group of people dedicated to keeping the community safe. She noted that 17-year-old RJ Thiele had recently completed Firefighter One training, requiring more than 90 hours of rigorous interior training.

In July, fire department members were challenged with a serious fire in the Black Forest that lasted nearly 23 hours.

Although several dogs lost their lives in the blaze, Lumberland firefighters were able to rescue an 11-week-old puppy and to carry a large dog to safety from a smoke-filled room. Steimle also informed the board that the Emergency Medical Technician course is now going to a national standard, which will increase the training time to 190 hours and which must be repeated every three years.

In other matters, the town board unanimously voted down a request from Rally New York to close several roads in October for the purpose of conducting a road rally. Following discussion of the pros and cons associated with the matter, the board cited potential road damage, the need for emergency services and disruption to residents as some of the reasons for rejecting the request.