The Hudson Valley Volunteer Firefighters’ Association meeting, convention, and the parade are postponed until further notice.
Volunteer firefighters and their respective departments, in the 16-county Hudson Valley region that spans from Rockland and Westchester counties to as far north as Essex County, are invited to the annual meeting and celebration.
Eric Orr, president of Wallkill Hook, Ladder and Hose Co. and a director at HVVFA, said he anticipates around 90 fire departments to attend, and he has heard lodging is already starting to book up.
“We’re pretty excited about it … it will be a group effort,” Orr said. “It will help rebuild some friendships and get some good camaraderie going.”
Those who come will honor their fellow service members at an awards ceremony, train on relevant topics affecting firefighters (this year it was on cancer awareness, a prominent issue on the forefront of first responders’ minds, Orr added) and march in a much-anticipated parade, with a theme that Wallkill firefighters get to choose in the coming months.
“We haven’t picked the theme yet, but we’ve got good characters who will come up with (something) pretty good,” Orr said.
Wallkill hosted the HVVFA’s celebration in 2002, which was the last time an event of this magnitude was hosted for the firefighter community in the hamlet, Orr said. The Ulster County community has hosted county parades in past years, including 2010 and 2012, Orr said, where as many as 50 fire companies participated.
A parade route and further details for the convention will be posted on the department’s Facebook page as they become available, Orr added.