Thank you, village employees

Several weeks ago, when the weather forecasters were calling for a foot of wet heavy snow, accompanied with 70 mph winds, I started thinking about all the things the village of Lake Placid does to be prepared.

About five years ago, the village brought in outside contractors and cut back trees along power lines to make it less likely that people would lose power in the event of a severe storm. This is a yearly and ongoing process to try to ensure that our village power is as reliable as we can make it. When Skate America competition came to Lake Placid, it was the leverage needed to have National Grid trim the trees back from the power line that goes from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid, and to replace poles that have become rotten or questionable. Believe it or not, one of the things that degrades the poles are woodpeckers. As a result of the World University Games, the rest of our power line was trimmed back and secured all the way to Malone. This is one of the positive side effects of our major events.

Another village department that plans ahead and is ready to go if needed is our Department of Public Works. When inclement weather is forecasted, all of our equipment is checked and rechecked to reduce the likelihood that it will break down when needed the most. Another aspect of planning ahead for a storm is ensuring that our employees have time off and are adequately rested ahead of a storm, which may last for several days.

It is also comforting to know that if you are involved in a serious accident, the Lake Placid police officers that respond have medical training to help stabilize you until an ambulance can arrive. The police department is there to reroute traffic around possible downed power lines, trees, or other dangers, and do checks of local businesses when the power goes out to ensure people are safe.

Our fire department is in a constant state of readiness, whether it’s the drivers or the volunteer fire fighters. Both groups undergo continual training and updating of their education to ensure that they are ready when they are needed. An example of this was when a fire recently broke out on Main Street. Not only did the Lake Placid fire department personnel show up at the scene, but also the system of mutual aid allowed for Saranac Lake to come over to assist with the fire and the Bloomingdale fire department to go to our firehouse to provide backup in case of another alarm. This was a long night for those involved as the call went out at 1 a.m. and most didn’t get done until 5 a.m.

One of the most important lessons that I learned in the pandemic was that we could no longer take for granted all of the people and services that we have been used to in the past. I’m extremely proud and grateful for all of the village employees that make a hard job look easy, and that includes all of the people in the background that keep the village functioning as well. It has always impressed me that the employees of the village take such pride in the work they do and their service to the community.

(Art Devlin is mayor of the village of Lake Placid.)

Starting at $1.44/week.

Subscribe Today