Giving Thanks

Cartoon by Stefanie Diers.

In the past few weeks, New Paltz has been faced with a series of challenges to the community.

A bank robbery at Empire Savings on Saturday confounded the town, being that the suspect is still unidentified. Just this past Monday night, there were two pipe bursts in the area: one apparent burst on Henry DuBois Drive and one on the second floor of the Student Union Building on the SUNY New Paltz campus. Last month, another significant pipe burst during the day at the intersection of Main Street by P & G’s and Chase Bank.

Also on Monday, a two-alarm fire destroyed a home and small business on Mulberry Street in the village. The fire was at the same location as one that occurred in March of 2014.

These incidents have tested the capabilities of our police and fire departments, and emergency services – and they have performed admirably.

We at The New Paltz Oracle would like to thank all emergency first responders in New Paltz for their prompt and dedicated service. They have come to our aid time and time again and we cannot be more grateful for their efforts to keep the community safe.

Their response time to incidents is often a critical factor in minimizing the harm caused by these unfortunate events. Even during times like the fire Monday night, when the firefighter force was in the middle of their monthly meeting, they were ready to respond to the danger of a raging fire. The sacrifice that these volunteers take does not go unnoticed.

Having a local, well-staffed rescue squad that responds quickly to EMS calls is something this town could not do without. Considering we lack a hospital in our immediate area, the nearest one is 20 minutes away, their presence and skills are invaluable.

Our own UPD should also be commended for their efforts to protect students on campus and in town. In dealing with alleged sexual assault cases on and around campus, UPD has handled these situations in a quick and professional manner. On Tuesday, UPD sent an email informing students about suspicious activity in the library. UPD has been efficient in their efforts to keep the community safe and up to date on potential threats on campus, ranging from a bear wandering around campus to inclement weather updates. The New Paltz Alert system has worked in favor of both UPD and students alike.  While there has been controversy surrounding certain events on our campus in recent months and years, UPD has never hesitated to help a student that has been in need of assistance.

Furthermore, want to encourage greater bystander intervention to assist and inform our local volunteers in their quest to keep our community safe. As valuable as our first responders are, everyday people getting involved is the best way for the community to protect itself. We encourage anyone who is willing and able to volunteer to help first responders to do so.