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Officials release statement after medivac helicopter grounded near Auburn Community Hospital due to fireworks

Officials were prompted to release a statement after illegal fireworks displays in Cayuga County resulted in a medivac helicopter being grounded near Auburn Community Hospital.

It forced the Auburn Police Department to investigate.

Here’s the message that was released by Auburn Police Chief Shawn Butler and Fire Chief Mark Fritz:

The members of the Auburn Police and Fire Departments would like to take this opportunity to address some issues surrounding the use and possession of fireworks. We understand that our community has been dealing with a lot of additional stressors recently as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and many families are looking forward to getting outside to enjoy their families as well as to celebrate. Often times these celebrations include the use of fireworks which can be fun if used safely and properly and in consideration of our neighbors.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Please follow these safety tips below:

  1. Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting
  2. A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children
  3. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show
  4. Wear safety glasses when using fireworks
  5. Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away
  6. Do not hold fireworks in your hand
  7. Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles; (DO NOT ignite fireworks on City streets)
  8. Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water before your discard it
  9. After purchasing fireworks, always store them in a cool, dry place.
  10. When using fireworks always have a connected hose, bucket of water, or other water source nearby.
  11. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place them in a metal trashcan away from any building or combustible materials until the next day
  12. Ensure all pets and animals are away from fireworks noise
  13. Be conscientious of your neighbors and remember the noise, lights, and smoke may be alarming or disruptive to some, so choose your location and time of day appropriately!

According to the New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services webpage on Fire Prevention and Control, the following are the laws surrounding legal fireworks in New York State:

  • New York State Law allows for the sale and use of a specific category of consumer fireworks known as Sparkling Devices.

Sparkling Devices are ground based or handheld devices that produce a shower of colored sparks and or a colored flame, audible crackling or whistling noise and smoke. The law limits the type, size and construction of Sparkling Devices and requires that these devices must be hand held or mounted on a base or spike and be limited in sizes that range from 1 to 500 grams of
pyrotechnic composition.

Important Notes: Sales of Sparkling Devices by certified permanent and specialty retailers can only occur from June 1 to July 5 and December 26 to January 2. Sales of Sparkling Devices by certified temporary stands or tents can only occur from June 20 to July 5 and December 26 to January 2.