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Ways To Be Safe In The Water This Summer

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Summer is here, and with it comes plenty of fun times spent in the water. Unfortunately drowning can happen to anyone in seconds, any time around water.

The Rockland County Department of Health recommends you follow these important tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help prevent drowning deaths, injuries, and the often life-long disabilities from near-drowning:

  • Learn basic swimming and water safety skills: Everyone should know the basics of swimming.  For swim and water safety lessons, you can contact your town’s recreation department, swim schools, the American Red Cross, or places like the Rockland County YMCA, JCC Rockland, or Rockland Community College. Make sure that your children learn how to swim, but don’t consider them “drown-proof” because they’ve had swimming lessons. There is no replacement for adult supervision. 
  • Learn CPR: Your CPR skills could save someone’s life in the time it takes for emergency services to arrive. For information on learning CPR call the County Emergency Medical Services at (845) 364-8923. 
  • Build fences that fully enclose pools:  Visit https://dos.ny.gov/pool-safety-information for important information about New York State pool safety requirements. Also check with your town and village.
  • Remove all toys from the pool area:  Toys left in and around the pool might attract children to the pool when the pool is not in use.
  • Wear a life jacket:  Children should wear life jackets for all activities in and around natural water, even if they know how to swim. Life jackets can also be used by weaker swimmers of all ages in and around natural water and swimming pools. They can also reduce the risk of drowning while boating for people of all ages and swimming abilities. Do not rely on air-filled or foam toys; these are not safety devices.
  • Supervise closely: Be on the lookout when kids are in or near water (including bathtubs).  Designate a responsible adult to supervise closely and constantly when children are in or near water. Adults watching kids in or near water should avoid distracting activities like playing cards, reading books, talking on the phone, and using alcohol and/or recreational drugs. After swim time is over, shut and lock doors that give access to water. Be proactive and learn about any risks when visiting another home or unfamiliar location. Adults should supervise children closely, even when lifeguards are present.
  • Use the buddy system:  Always swim with a buddy and choose swimming sites that have lifeguards when possible. If you have a backyard pool: remember to have a cell phone, emergency numbers, a first-aid kit, rescue equipment, and CPR instructions by the pool.
  • Do NOT rent backyard residential pools for use or rent your residential pool out for use.  These pools are not permitted by the Rockland County Department of Health and are not subject to state and county health regulations that help prevent drowning, injuries, and the spread of recreational water illnesses.  Illegal pool rentals are a growing problem in Rockland County and present a number of safety and health risks to patrons and significant liability to property owners.  Illegal pool rentals should be reported to the Rockland County Department of Health and violations are punishable of up to $2,000 per day per violation.

Click here for more important water safety tips from the CDC. For information about staying healthy and safe when you swim click here.

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Government

Rockland County Launches TOR Ferry Connection Bus To Serve Weekend Ferry

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New City, NY – County Executive Ed Day and the Rockland County Department of Public Transportation have announced that Transport of Rockland (TOR) will launch the TOR Weekend Ferry Connection bus service starting on Saturday, July 6th. The bus service will provide connecting transit service for Metro-North Hudson Line customers who travel to Haverstraw via the Haverstraw-Ossining Weekend Ferry, enabling them to travel beyond the Ferry Landing via public transit. The TOR Ferry Connection will also provide service for Rockland residents who want to use the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry to travel to Westchester or to NYC via Metro-North Hudson Line trains from Ossining.

The TOR Weekend Ferry Connection bus will serve Metro-North’s Haverstraw-Ossining Weekend Ferry service pilot program, which began on May 25th and is expected to operate through November 10th. The TOR Ferry Connection will meet each of the ferries arriving and departing the Haverstraw Ferry Landing on Saturdays and Sundays. Weekend ferry customers can board the TOR Ferry Connection upon arrival at the Haverstraw Ferry Landing. The Ferry Connection enables easy access to downtown Haverstraw, which is approximately one mile from the Landing, and then travels through the Village of Haverstraw to the Village of West Haverstraw to serve the Garner Arts Center, south on Route 9W to serve Rockland Lake State Park in Valley Cottage, then to downtown Nyack before heading west on Route 59 to serve the Palisades Center mall in West Nyack.  At Palisades Center, the bus will serve the stores bus stop at Macy’s as well as the Commuter Parking Lot.

“Rockland County is happy to be able to host visitors from around our region, who are able to use the new Haverstraw-Ossining Weekend Ferry Service to travel to Rockland,” said County Executive Ed Day. “With the TOR Weekend Ferry Connection bus service, those visitors now have a way to travel from the Ferry Landing to the various destinations and attractions Rockland has to offer.”

“This is the perfect time to launch this new service – with summer in full swing and so many opportunities to enjoy our Hudson River waterfront, arts centers, restaurants, shops and more,” Rockland County Legislature Chairman Jay Hood Jr. said. “This effort means visitors can leave their cars at home but still have a reliable way to visit the many cultural, recreational and historic landmarks that help make Rockland County the special place we all love. Likewise, Rockland residents will have a special way to travel across the Hudson to visit the east side and even travel further into New York City if they choose. Thanks to all who have helped make this new service possible.”

“We are pleased that our Department was able to work quickly to put the TOR Weekend Ferry Connection into place,” said Rockland County Public Transportation Department Acting Commissioner Doug Schuetz. “Thanks to the hard work and efforts of our staff and bus operator, and with operating assistance funds from Metro-North, TOR can now provide this valuable service.”

“This new bus route combined with the weekend ferry service offers visitors and residents a convenient option to explore Rockland’s unique tourism assets,” said Lucy Redzeposki, Director of Economic Development and Tourism. “Expect the unexpected in beautiful Rockland County!”

“The Village of Haverstraw is thrilled that the County of Rockland has recognized this opportunity to promote tourism along the Hudson River provided by the start of the weekend ferry service,” said Village of Haverstraw Mayor Michael Kohut. “Now those from the east side of the Hudson can have the chance to explore Rockland’s river communities at their leisure and Rocklanders can enjoy the opportunity to explore Westchester and beyond via Metro-North.”

Customers using this TOR connecting service will be able to transfer to other transit options at TOR transit hubs in the Village of Haverstraw, downtown Nyack and at Palisades Center to access additional destinations. The TOR Ferry Connection schedule also includes a final evening trip to Palisades Center for Metro-North customers who may stay beyond the 8:20 pm departure time of the last ferry back to Ossining. This provides an option for Metro-North customers to return to the Hudson Line at Tarrytown via the Hudson Link bus from Palisades Center or downtown Nyack.

The TOR Weekend Ferry Connection schedule features 26 trips per day for both Saturdays and Sundays, including 13 Southbound trips that meet all ferry arrivals and 13 Northbound trips that meet all ferry departures at the Haverstraw Ferry Landing. The service operates between 8 am and 10 pm. The service is provided by the Rockland County Department of Public Transportation and Metro-North Railroad, in partnership with the Rockland County Department of Economic Development and Tourism and the Village of Haverstraw.  The TOR Weekend Ferry Connection service is fare free.

Go to www.rocklandbus.com for more information and to sign up for free Transit Alerts. For trip planning assistance, call the Transit Information Center at (845) 364-3333, Monday-Friday from 9 am and 5 pm.

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Five Towns Of Rockland Blood Drive Challenge In Partnership With The American Red Cross

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Nanuet, NY – Senator Bill Weber today announced the Five Towns of Rockland Blood Drive Challenge in partnership with the American Red Cross. This friendly competition between the five towns of Rockland will take place between July 30th and August 3rd. Each of the Five Town Supervisors has agreed to participate and assist in promoting their town’s blood drive.
“I’m excited to announce the Five Towns of Rockland Blood Drive Challenge in partnership with the American Red Cross. Only three percent of the population regularly donates blood. We need to increase that number, and this five towns challenge was developed to do exactly that,” said Senator Bill Weber.
Donors can preregister for the event by going to:
The schedule for the blood drive challenge is:
July 30th – Finkelstein Memorial Library
24 Chestnut Street
Spring Valley, NY 10977
10:30 AM – 04:30 PM
July 31st – Orangetown Town Hall
26 W Orangeburg Rd
Orangeburg, NY 10962
09:00 AM – 03:00 PM
August 1st – Stony Point Senior Center
19 Club House Ln
Stony Point, NY 10980
10:00 AM – 03:00 PM
August 2nd – Clarkstown Town Hall
10 Maple Ave
New City, NY 10956
12:00 PM – 05:00 PM
August 3rd – Town of Haverstraw
1 Rosman Rd
Garnerville, NY 10923
10:00 AM – 03:00 PM
Two prizes will be awarded, one for the most blood collected and another for the most newly registered Red Cross blood donors. The winning town for each category will receive a trophy and bragging rights until next year’s competition.
“Blood and platelet donors are critically needed right now to support lifesaving transfusions this summer,” said Stephanie Dunn Ashely, CEO of the American Red Cross Metro New York North Chapter. “Full summer calendars and holiday plans may prevent regular donors from being able to give, but every donation counts in the mission to keep blood products stocked for patients who need them. This is why we are so excited and proud to partner with Senator Weber and the five towns across Rockland County to sponsor a friendly competition where neighbors can roll up their sleeves to help save a life. In this competition, everyone in the community wins!”
There will be five blood drives over five consecutive days, one in each of the five towns of Rockland. Senator Bill Weber contacted the NYS Thruway Authority, and they agreed to light up the Tappan Zee Bridge in red on the night of the first blood drive (July 30th) to help spread awareness of this life-saving initiative.

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