The Essex New York Fire Department hosted a bi-state/multi-agency marine response drill on Wednesday, October 21, 2015. The purpose of the drill was to perform a walk-through and update the response plan for the lakeside commercial structures in the Essex Hamlet.
The locations that were inspected included: the Lake Champlain Transportation Company‘s ferry dock (including the ferry Adirondack), the Old Dock Restaurant, the Essex Marina, and the Essex Shipyard.
The participating agencies and representatives in attendance encompassed: The Essex Fire Department; Willsboro Fire Department; Keeseville Fire Department; Charlotte VT Fire Department; Essex County Emergency Services; Essex Town Government; Essex Town Highway; Willsboro Central School Transportation Department; Congresswoman Stefanik’s Office; New York State Police; Essex County Sheriff’s Department; New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; and the Burlington based United States Coast Guard.
“We were very pleased with the turnout for the marine drill, we have well over fifty individuals from a broad spectrum of the first-responder community,” said Essex Fire Chief Ronald Jackson. “Any large incident involving a commercial vessel or structures along our area of Lake Champlain will require a coordinated multi-agency response, including possible assistance from our constituents in Vermont,” said Jackson. “I’d like to thank LCT for providing a ferry for us to tour, the business owners who graciously opened their doors for assessment, Willsboro Central School for providing transportation, and to all the first-responders and representatives for attending.”
The Essex Fire Department, established in the early 1800s, has 21 volunteers firefighters and 5 volunteers EMT’s serving a 37 square-mile area, including 6 miles of waterfront. The Department averages over 300 calls a year, many of which are mutual-aid responses to neighboring Fire Districts.