Fires in two huge South Fork houses, one in Bridgehampton on Dec. 19 and another in Water Mill on Saturday, should remind residents and visitors of the tremendous commitment of our volunteer firefighters and ambulance personnel.
Seemingly ever-larger houses make for new challenges. Departments now must frequently call on one another for equipment and support. The Dec. 19 blaze took close to 10 hours to stop, with 100 firefighters from eight departments from Hampton Bays to Amagansett lending a hand.
But it is not just the spectacular events that put high demands on volunteers. Fire chiefs and assistant chiefs are nearly always in motion these days, racing to check out fire alarms in often unoccupied vacation houses or off-season businesses. Emergency medical technicians are also there to respond day and night to all manner of health issues as well as accidents — and they are at the fires, too. Both deserve the deepest thanks and support.