Letters to the Editor - 5-30-24

Three Daring Rescues

In recent weeks, the Amenia Fire Company has showcased exceptional skill and dedication through three dramatic rescue operations, underscoring their crucial role in emergency response across Eastern Dutchess County and Northwest Connecticut. These incidents reflect not only their heroism but also the power of community collaboration and the relentless commitment to public safety.

Canine in Crisis: Rippy’s Rescue

On May 6, the Amenia Fire Company joined a coordinated effort to rescue Rippy, a small terrier mix stranded on a cliff in North Canaan. The North Canaan Animal Control initially responded to a distressing voicemail about a dog’s bark near Lower Road. Despite hearing Rippy, the initial search proved unsuccessful.

Leveraging social media to involve the community, and with the assistance of First Selectman Brian Ohler’s drone, the search continued into the next day. Quarry worker Bobby Foley’s persistence paid off when he located Rippy’s barking source during a lunch break. This led to the rapid mobilization of the Northwest Rope Rescue Team and the Amenia Fire Company.

Descending 50 feet down a precarious cliff, the Rope Rescue Team, with critical support from Amenia Fire Company members, successfully retrieved Rippy. Fire Chief Christopher Howard and his team, including Lt. Richard Howard Jr., Lt. Zach Klingner, and others, were integral to this heartwarming rescue. The safe recovery of Rippy not only reunited a beloved pet with its owner but also demonstrated the effectiveness of inter-agency cooperation and community solidarity.

Mountain Peril: Millerton’s Dual Rescue

On May 14, the Amenia Fire Company responded to an urgent call at 89 Quarry Hill Road in Millerton. Two individuals were injured on the mountain, one with a broken arm at the trailhead and another with a head injury higher up the mountain.

The Amenia Fire Company, utilizing specialized units 31-66 and 31-96, partnered with multiple local fire departments and emergency services. The rescue operation required advanced rope techniques and precise coordination. By 2:31 pm, the male patient was located in challenging terrain. The team meticulously stabilized him and executed a low-angle rescue.

Chief Christopher Howard praised the flawless execution of this mission, highlighting the importance of rigorous training and readiness. The patient’s safe transportation to Albany Medical Center was a testament to the team’s dedication and expertise.

Cliffside Emergency: Great Falls Rescue

The third incident occurred on May 20, at Great Falls in Salisbury, Conn. A man had fallen 30 feet onto a rock ledge, sustaining a head injury and an arm injury. The Amenia Fire Company, alongside the Northwest Regional Ropes Team and Northern Dutchess Paramedics, swiftly responded to the scene.

Executing a complex rescue, responders were lowered to the injured man, stabilized him, and carefully raised him to safety. The patient was then transported to Hartford, Conn., for further medical treatment. This operation involved a broad coalition of emergency responders from multiple towns, showcasing the efficiency of their mutual aid agreements and shared training.

Chief Howard noted, “This incident marks the third rope rescue in the region in the past three weeks, highlighting the importance of our ongoing training and mutual aid agreements.”

Commitment to Excellence

The Amenia Fire Company’s recent rescues highlight their unwavering dedication to safeguarding the community. Through continuous training, inter-agency cooperation, and a profound sense of duty, they have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to respond effectively to emergencies.

From rescuing a beloved pet to saving lives in perilous terrains, the Amenia Fire Company stands as a beacon of heroism and professional excellence. Their actions not only save lives but also strengthen the fabric of the communities they serve.

About the Amenia Fire Company

The Amenia Fire Company is dedicated to serving the local community with unwavering commitment and professionalism. As a vital part of the Northwest Rope Rescue Team, it stands ready to respond to emergencies with specialized expertise and advanced resources. Their mission is to safeguard lives and property through proactive emergency response and public safety initiatives.

These three recent rescues serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of emergency services and the bravery of those who serve. The Amenia Fire Company’s expertise and dedication ensure that when a crisis strikes, they are ready to respond with skill and compassion.

Aaron Howard Jr.

Public Information Officer

Amenia Fire Co.


Pulver’s proposed salt vs. brine study

I agree that salt usage on county roads is an important environmental issue, but I question whether the Comptroller’s proposal to study the salt versus brine question makes sense in light of the study on this very issue conducted two years ago by the Dutchess County

Environmental Management Council (“the Council”), titled “Cost Benefit Analysis of Brine vs. Rock Salt.” The Millerton News’s recent article covering Comptroller Pulver’s announcement of his intention to conduct what he terms “a brand-new study” fails to mention the Council’s study, published on May 24, 2022.

Although the Comptroller’s announcement, quoted by the Millerton News in its May 8 article, refers to “alternatives” to salt, the announcement refers only to brine — the very subject studied by the Council. I submit that until the Comptroller publishes the scope of work that he said would soon be prepared, the public won’t know whether or not this project would be an unnecessary duplication of work already done by the Council in what appears to be a careful and thoughtful manner.

Our county is plagued by so many issues — such as the paucity of public transportation and mental health services — that it would be wasteful to devote resources to a study on a subject already thoroughly addressed.

Amy Rothstein

Pine Plains

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