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Birchez Associates Hosts BOCES Training Course

As the use of alternative energy proliferates, local fire department officials have identified a number of areas of concern with hazard mitigation and emergency response. This includes solar power systems, which are introducing new and unexpected hazards to Ulster County firefighters and other emergency responders.

Local emergency personnel learn about firefighting that involves solar power systems

Ulster BOCES, Ulster Hose No. 5, Birchez Associates and Rondout Property Management have teamed up to create a class experience for all of our local fire companies. “This is part of our ongoing support of our First Responders. In helping them we ultimately help our residents,” said Steve Aaron, Founder & Managing Member of Birchez Associates.

Last May, Birchez opened its doors to a class of 55 firefighters and their instructors to learn/explore the proper ways to handle any emergencies when it comes to sustainable systems. The class exercise allowed onsite experience and information for firefighters and first responders to assist in their decisions for handling fire incidents in buildings equipped with solar power systems.

“At The Birches at Chambers site, we split the groups up for the class exercise,” former Ulster Hose No. 5 Chief Sam Appa said, “about six at a time. This training was very helpful in getting a hands-on education on solar array operations and safety. Thank you to Steve Aaron, Birchez Associates and Rondout Property Management for allowing us this important opportunity.”

Specifically, this class exercise focused on structural firefighting in buildings and structures involving solar power systems utilizing solar panels that generate thermal and/or electrical energy, with a particular focus on solar photovoltaic panels used for electric power generation.

Click on the title for Birchez Associates Commitment to Sustainability video to learn more about our use of alternative energy.