Education and awareness

To the editor:

On Feb. 28, the Mayfield Suicide Prevention Task Force, in conjunction with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), presented a town hall meeting entitled "Suicide Prevention, Education and Awareness: It's Everyone's Business." It was a community discussion about recognizing warning signs of suicide and how to help prevent suicide. This uncomfortable topic needs to be discussed because we are often reminded too late about how real these issues are. Every 13.7 minutes someone in the United States dies by suicide. This is a frightening statistic considering 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death. Many of these deaths can be been prevented if warning signs are noticed and help is provided.

I'd like to thank everyone who made this important town hall meeting possible. First and foremost, the community members who attended and Mayfield Central School District for supporting the efforts of their suicide prevention task force. Thanks also to Laura Marx and AFSP for providing the program and to Kathy Cromie of the Mental Health Association in Fulton & Montgomery Counties for doing most of the leg work. Thank you to the community providers who attended: Court Appointed Special Advocates of Fulton & Montgomery Counties, Catholic Charities of Fulton & Montgomery Counties, the Family Counseling Center, Fulton & Montgomery County Suicide Prevention Task Force, HFM Prevention Council, Mental Health Association in Fulton and Montgomery Counties, National Alliance on Mental Illness- Montgomery, Fulton & Hamilton Counties (NAMI) and VetCorps.

A very special thank you to the survivor panel speakers who offered their personal perspectives on suicide: Miss Fulton County 2013 Katelynn Smith, Ann Thane, MaryFran Fiorillo, Zakk Delach and Kim Buchanan. I believe their openness and willingness to share such personal matters had a huge, amazing impact. And thank you to Marianne Reid, for not only sharing her personal story, but for helping make the whole evening possible.

I'd like to ask everyone to take a moment to familiarize themselves with the warning signs of suicide. You never know, you might just save a life. More information can be obtained from the Fulton & Montgomery County Suicide Prevention Task Force (contact Kathy Cromie 762-5332 x111), the Mayfield Suicide Prevention Task Force (contact Robin Lair 661-8295), or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ( If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).

Rebecca Woodruff, Mayfield

Helping the volunteers

To the editor:

I am writing this letter with some thought that maybe readers really have no idea exactly what our volunteer fire departments actually do for your communities.

These men and women are always there for you in times of fire, medical emergencies, floods, wind damages, and the lists go on and on. Oh, yes, they even are there to assist in aiding your favorite pets if need be. Volunteer firemen and women don't get paid in money for the dedicated work they do for you. They do get satisfaction knowing they made someone feel safe and comforted if they need to call 911.

Day or night, hot or cold weather, weekdays or weekends, including holidays. These people are here for you. Some areas pay a fire tax while others are fortunate not to have to do that. Volunteer fire departments work on a budget that is not always the greatest and sometimes they work hard trying to keep the community safe and the equipment they have to work with is very expensive. From the boots on their feet to the trucks they drive to the scene. Nothing is cheap today, we all know that. Just the coat our firefighters wear costs upward of $1,000 to replace, if not more.

We need your help to provide these services. To replace the equipment is necessary for safety of our firefighters and it is mandated through state and government laws. Just the thought of buying a new jacket for everyone in the department is so expensive. For example, if there are 25 active firefighters, times $1,000, you are talking $25,000. That is just the coat they need to wear. Then they have pants, gloves, boots, helmets -- the list is endless and costs are unbelievable.

People, many fire departments are hosting fundraisers and not just because they have nothing better to do but because the budgets they are allowed by towns and cities just don't cut the total costs to run the departments. When someone approaches you for the purchase of raffle tickets, 50/50, or other type fundraisers, dig deep and be proud that you helped out in a small way. Get out there and be part of these events hosted by the fire departments. It really is a great thing and I promise you will feel great about yourself. If you can't get out to a fundraiser or have no desire to purchase a ticket someone could approach you to buy, consider mailing a donation of money to your local fire department. It all helps no matter what you can do to help. Thank you so much and please make a difference. You will be glad that you did.

Town of Glen Volunteer Fire Department is hosting its annual Easter breakfast March 23 from 8 to 11 a.m. The Easter egg hunt will follow for children at our fire house in Glen. Come out, enjoy breakfast and say thank you to a fire fighter. We would love to see you and maybe you can ask what you can do to help us serve all of you better.

God bless and be safe.

Sandy Knapik, Town of Glen

Rangers, speak out

To the editor:

Rangers are quick to tell me they don't make the rules and would like to help me when camping.

I'm allowed one month camping in Wild Forest with a permit; then I have to remove my tent. Then I'm only allowed to camp in other places for three days and have to remove my tent.

I was told if I put my tent in another Wild Forest area I could get a permit for two weeks, any time so long as I keep moving. I hunt and fish West Canada country. I don't want to camp in Siamese Ponds country or other areas.

I'm 72 and can't move my tent every three days. No one knows where I set my tent except the rangers. I harm no one. I challenge the rangers, if they want to help me, speak out and notify the governor and the public.

I think the state Department of Environmental Conservation, its rangers etc. will be enforcing new gun laws. I haven't read anything on how they will help hunters and campers with this matter.

To me my rifle and camping represent the same as the American flag -- freedom. Now they are going to put even more restrictions on them.

I think EnCon and its rangers should stand up for hunters', trappers' and campers' rights. They are the ones that go into the woods and know the problems we face.

If rangers aren't going to monitor wildlife and deer populations (I was told wildlife comes under another department) and look into hunters' and trappers' complaints and only do law enforcement, issue burn permits, check on camps and search and rescue then they are only stewards of the forest.

I feel I care more for forest and animals than they do. The deer population is very low. Everybody is so afraid for their job they don't speak out.

I was told I should try to have these rules changed, write the governor and other politicians, so I'm trying. I was told by friends not to stick my neck out. Wild Forest Forever.

Lewis N. Page Sr., Speculator