Enjoy breakfast, help volunteer fire companies

To the editor:

On April 2 and 3, separate structure fires in our area had the opportunity to fully consume two homes. One in East Chatham and the second in Lebanon, were both knocked down within minutes by volunteers from Red Rock, Canaan, Lebanon, Chatham and East Chatham, N.Y. fire companies. Both of these "good saves" were the result of years of volunteer service and training of the men and women who make up our local fire companies with help and guidance from the Columbia County fire coordinators office.

The valuable role that the capable men and women staffing our Columbia 911 office cannot be overlooked either when fire trucks roll within minutes of a homeowner's original call for help. The first fire truck arrived at the East Chatham call, for example, within six minutes of our being alerted to the family's distress.

This 24/7/365 coverage for fires, accidents and medical emergencies has many costs. Time and energies away from family and missed opportunity for gainful employment while training or on a fire scene are only a few. While the bulk of our monetary costs for trucks and equipment are covered by Columbia County property taxes, each year items are moved from the "need" list to the "wish" list for local fire companies due to budget shortfalls.


Now, you have the opportunity to help. On Sunday (April 17,) the East Chatham Fire Company will hold its semi-annual buffet breakfast at the firehouse from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. And, what an opportunity it is! In addition to our delicious fare of pancakes, blueberry pancakes, French toast, scrambled fresh eggs donated by Feather Ridge Farm, sausage, bacon, home fries, hash, coffee, tea and orange juice, we will be offering an "omelet station" manned by our own Chef David Shea, formerly of the five-star rated applewood in Brooklyn and soon to be headlining at the East Chatham Food Company, formerly the Cottage Restaurant.

So take the morning off from cooking and stop by for some real food and local hospitality while contributing to a great cause. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you.

Robert K. Rugen, East Chatham, N.Y. The writer is a member of the East Chatham Fire Company.