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Join Port Jervis Fire Department in Taking Polar Plunge!

By SHARON SIEGEL, Senior Correspondent | November 04, 2020 | NEW YORK

Story No. 110420101

Port Jervis, NY - On Saturday, January 16, 2021, from 8:30 A.M. to 9:30 A.M., Port Jervis Fire Department will host its second annual Polar Plunge event. Anyone wishing to support the department and enjoy a chilly winter dip in the Delaware River is invited to contact Port’s Recreation Department. Information may be gained at 845-858-4045 or when updated at

This year’s January 16th Polar Plunge is being held to raise funds for Port Jervis Fire Department’s Special Operations Team. Chaired by PJFD Water Operations Team Lt. Tim Simmons, who also serves as a 4th Ward Councilman on Port’s Common Council, the PJFD event is co-sponsored by Port’s Recreation Department.

Last January, more than 60 individuals participated by taking a plunge, some repeating their accomplishment more than once. Many stayed to enjoy a beach campfire and refreshments, receiving towels, bathrobes, and warm clothes that were ready for them on shore.

Last year’s water temperature was 32-dgrees. This was higher than the 20-degree air temperature. All who entered the water were quickly in and out to avoid hypothermia. Simmons noted careful preparations, safety precautions, and special features of last year will be repeated and built upon for this year’s event, with special considerations to stay safely within COVID-19 guidelines.

Preparations include divers sweeping the designated plunge area for sharp rocks or debris, recreation staff preparing the beach area, and divers who will be protectively in the water throughout the event.

“It takes something to run down there and jump into that water,” Simmons said. “For some, it’s been on their bucket list. Hopefully those who completed this last year will return for another plunge."

Jamie Swingle, President of Sparrowbush Engine Company’s Ladies Auxiliary, was one of those who completed her first-time Polar Plunge last year, and loved it.

“I’ve always watched the ones on New Year’s Day and thought it looked really fun to do,” a bathrobe adorned Swingle said, following last year’s plunge. “It was kind of like something on my bucket list. It was great.”

Mark your calendars for January 16, 2021, 8:30a.m. - 9:30a.m. for Port Jervis’ Polar Plunge at West End Beach, Ferry Street, Port Jervis, NY to help raise funds for a dedicated group of emergency volunteers and to have some unique winter fun.

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.