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LONG ISLAND FD RANT NEWS Hurricane Sandy Special Edition Part 1 – November, 2012


Babylon Simultaneous Jobs – Page 13 Lindenhurst Battles House Fire in High Water – Page 14 Long Island FD Rant News – Hurricane Sandy Edition Part 1 –Close November 2012 Bethpage andSpecial Massapequa Call – Page 20

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Long Island FD Rant News The #1 digital publication for the Long Island Fire Service covering the NEWS you want to hear about.

We have all been part of discussions about preparing ourselves for when “the ‘Big One’ hits”. We have discussed it. We have debated it. We have tried to plan for it. Well, the Big One hit us and her name was Sandy. A Category 1 Hurricane that combined with several other weather phenomena barreled up the East Coast of the United States and struck the Northeast on October 29-30, 2012. The power of the winds and, more importantly, the record storm surge that attacked Long island’s south shore left a path of destruction in its wake. None of us in our lifetime have seen this kind of destruction. Long Island’s fire service along with all of the other emergency response agencies were put to the test early and often as calls for help began early in the day on October 29th and continued for several days as the worst effects were felt across our area. The number of emergency calls can only be estimated to be in the tens of thousands. The number of rescues made cannot even be calculated. The number of working fires in the course of one week eclipsed what we normally see for almost an entire year. Widespread power outages lasted for weeks at a time as the beleaguered power company known as LIPA was unable to restore power in a timely manner for hundreds of thousands of their paying customers. Gasoline became a coveted commodity as lines at gas stations were many blocks long and the image of people standing in line with red gasoline containers resembled people on line for a hot dog at a ball game. Our correspondents, who are some of the best in the business, were not immune to the effects of this catastrophic storm. Several of them were evacuated from their homes during the height of the storm and in its immediate aftermath. Their homes were flooded and their belongings destroyed; the same as thousands of other people in our area. And just when everyone thought they could finally catch their breath, another Nor’Easter rambled into our area on November 7th, with more high winds and blanketed us with snow and subfreezing temperatures. As if Mother Nature hadn’t slapped us hard enough the first time. This brought a whole new round of alarms for fire departments to respond to but thankfully by this time numerous departments from Upstate New York came to the aid of Long Island departments hit hardest by the storm and were able to provide needed relief to the weary departments who had been running for a week straight without a break. As time marched on, we began to hear about wonderful humanitarian efforts carried out by people, not only from our area on Long Island, but from across the United States. We got to see the wonderful efforts of everyday people just looking to help out some of their fellow Americans who were in dire need. Civic groups, church organizations, makeshift neighborhood groups, law enforcement agencies, fire departments and many others did not just text their donation to the Red Cross. They held food and clothing drives, they collected cleaning supplies, baby formula and diapers. They loaded their vehicles and drove to our area with no specific destination in mind. They stopped in the hardest hit neighborhoods and handed out the supplies that people needed FOR FREE. All they wanted to do was to make a difference; they wanted to help those who were less fortunate than they were and their efforts were inspiring. The worst storm we have ever seen actually brought out the best in many people whom we have never met. This is what makes America great. This is what makes AMERICANS great. Many of us here on Long Island are often on the other side; offering our assistance and services to others in need. Well, this time it was US who needed the help and our fellow Americans did not let us down. All of us here at LIFD Rant News send our best wishes to everyone who has been affected by this past month’s events and hope for the best for all of you during this recovery process. All submissions or inquiries can be sent to Jeff DiLavore – Owner/Publisher Long Island FD Rant News – Hurricane Sandy Special Edition Part 1 – November 2012

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Hurricane Sandy Special Edition Part 1

CONTENTS Long Island FD Rant News Northport, N.Y. 11768 Phone: 631.766.3287 Email: Owner/Editor/Publisher Jeff DiLavore Associate Editor Brian Welliver

Cover Photo provided by Andrew Cavaseno

This edition is dedicated to all the first responders who continued to render assistance to their neighbors throughout the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy and beyond.

We put the N-E-W back into news. We run stories that are days or weeks old; NOT months old. We are fresh and new; not old and stale. LIFD Rant News-You’re #1 source for news about the Long Island Fire Service.

Contributing Authors Phil Lichtenberger Jim McNamara Robert Senn Tom Rinelli Joe Laino Mike Cappoziello Correspondents Chris Colletti Lauren Cronemeyer Eric Devine Eric Dobrini Lauren Foschino Robert Garofalo Paul Krussmann Kevin Madigan Ralph Moniello Brian Olsen Chris Sabella Joe Sperber Nick Stein Matt Thomas Kim Versheck Brian Welliver Submit Stories and/or Photos to: Be sure to send contact information including name, phone number and email address.

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Hurricane Sandy Explained Story by Andrew Cavaseno

“To this day, I have been tracking Weather events, and I am a Certified Storm Chaser and National Weather Service (NOAA.GOV) Sky Warn Spotter. In my 20+ years of observing and studying Meteorology, I have never witnessed a storm behave this way.” – Andrew Cavaseno When the Weather models started showing this Impossible scenario, most in the mainstream weather community laughed it off, saying “that’s not going to happen, it’s a mistake, don’t worry, the models will come around, etc..” I could not believe that this nightmare scenario of worst case could really happen but in good conscience, I started letting people along the Entire Eastern Seaboard know via Social media and a few phone calls to family and friends to be prepared just in case. This storm struck the NYC/NJ and Long Island area around October 29th-30th and I had warnings going out nearly 3 weeks prior. Many people thought I was crazy and some people thanked me. The bottom line and most important lesson we learned and must always remember is to BE PREPARED FOR THE WORST. Hurricane Sandy will be remembered as a raging freak of nature that became one of the most destructive storms in U.S. history. Here is a timeline from Sandy’s birth deep in the Caribbean Sea to its dissipation over Pennsylvania nine days later. October 22 A tropical depression forms in the southern Caribbean Sea off the coast of Nicaragua. The depression strengthens and becomes Tropical Storm Sandy, with maximum winds of about 40 mph.

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October 24 Sandy has become a Category 1 hurricane as it moves northward across the Caribbean and crosses Jamaica with winds of 80 mph. Although Sandy’s eye does not cross the Dominican Republic and Haiti to its east, the storm dumps more than 20 inches of rain on Hispaniola. More than 50 people die in flooding and mudslides in Haiti.

October 26 Sandy strengthens as it moves from Jamaica to Cuba and strikes the historic city of Santiago de Cuba with winds of about 110 mph, only 1 mph below the status of a major Category 3 hurricane. “Everything is destroyed,” Santiago resident Alexis Manduley told Reuters by telephone.

Sandy causes more devastation as it crosses the Bahamas and makes a slight turn to the north-northwest. October 27 Sandy moves away from the Bahamas and makes a turn to the northeast off the coast of Florida. News services estimate the death toll in the Caribbean at 70 or more. The storm briefly weakens to a tropical depression, but quickly re-intensifies into a Category 1 hurricane. October 28 Sandy continues moving northeast on a track that takes it parallel to the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. But the storm’s center stays well offshore as it approaches latitude 35 degrees north off the coast of North Carolina. Still, the storm sends powerful waves onto North Carolina’s Outer Banks, washing out NC Highway 12 in several places.

The storm is still a Category 1 hurricane with peak winds of about 80 mph. But an unusual configuration of weather factors is converging, and meteorologists warn that the storm likely will morph into a powerful, hybrid super-storm as it churns northward. A high-pressure cold front to Sandy’s north will force the storm to start turning to the northwest toward major cities such as Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia and New York. And the full moon will make Sandy’s storm surge – expected to be 11 to 12 feet in some places – a little higher as it makes landfall. Sandy has expanded into a huge storm with winds covering about 1,000 miles. “You just don’t see this kind of stuff,” Keith Blackwell, a meteorologist at the University of South Alabama’s Coastal Weather Research Center in Mobile, tells National Geographic News. “It’s so strong and so large. Normally protected areas like New York Harbor and Long Island are seeing the worst-cast scenario.” Long Island FD Rant News – Hurricane Sandy Special Edition Part 1 – November 2012

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Long Island FD Rant News – Hurricane Sandy Special Edition Part 1 – November 2012

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October 29 12:30 p.m.: Sandy has made its expected sharp turn toward the northwest on a path for the coast of New Jersey. The storm also has started interacting with other weather systems, gaining energy in the process. The storm will dump heavy snow in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.

Sandy will have a run of about 300 miles over open water as it heads for landfall, giving it time to build up a huge storm surge that will be a little bigger because of the influence of the full moon. Meanwhile, a replica of the tall ship HMS Bounty, en route from New London, Connecticut to Saint Petersburg, Florida with 16 people on board, is caught in Sandy’s raging seas in the infamous “Graveyard of the Atlantic” off the Outer Banks. CNN reports that the ship’s captain, Robin Walbridge, tries to steer his ship away from the worst of Sandy’s wrath, but the ship’s pumps fail and it begins rapidly flooding and starts to sink. Passengers and crew abandon the ship, but only 14 of the 16 people on board make it to the relative safety of the lifeboats. A rescue crew from the U.S. Coast Guard station at Elizabeth City, North Carolina pulls the survivors to safety aboard helicopters. They recover the body of one missing crewman, but Walbridge, the captain, is missing. During the afternoon: Sandy brings high winds and drenching rains from Washington, D.C. northward, toppling trees and power lines and cutting off electrical power for millions of people. The storm eventually will affect more than 50 million people on the Eastern Seaboard. 8 p.m.: Sandy’s center comes ashore near Atlantic City, New Jersey. The storm is no longer considered a hurricane but is now classified as a post-tropical nor’easter. But the storm’s unusual path from the southeast makes its storm surge much worse for New Jersey and New York. A cyclone’s strongest winds and highest storm surge are to the front and right of its circulation because the power of the storm’s strongest winds is combined with its forward motion. New York Harbor receives this part of Sandy’s impact.

The surge is worsened because the full moon has added about a foot to the surge and because Sandy arrives at high tide. Meteorologist Tim Morrin of the National Weather Service’s office in New York, tells National Geographic News that the surge — nearly 14 feet — is a new record for a storm surge in the harbor. The previous record of just over 10 feet was set in 1960 when Hurricane Donna passed just offshore. The surge tops the seawall at The Battery in Lower Manhattan and floods parts of the City’s subway system. The surge also floods the Hugh Carey Tunnel, which links Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. Long Island FD Rant News – Hurricane Sandy Special Edition Part 1 – November 2012

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The storm’s huge size means that its winds, rains and flooding will pound New Jersey and New York throughout the night and through three cycles of high tides and low tides. Staten Island also is hit very hard by the storm. The Seattle Times later reports that towns such as Oakwood Beach, Midland Beach, South Beach and Tottenville — which lost many residents who were police and firefighters during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 — were among the hardest-hit communities. October 30 Although Sandy has started to move away from New York, the backside of the huge storm is still inflicting punishment on the Northeast. As the day progresses, Sandy weakens as it moves inland over Pennsylvania. October 31 The storm that began as Hurricane Sandy dissipates over western Pennsylvania, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issues its final advisory on the storm. NOAA’s advisory says “multiple centers of circulation in association with the remnants of Sandy can be found across the lower Great Lakes.”

NOAA reports that Sandy killed more than 70 people in the Caribbean and at least 50 in the United States. NOAA estimates that Sandy caused at least $20 billion in damages. Update, November 3 NBC News reports that the death toll in the U.S. is now 109, including at least 40 in New York City. Half of New York’s deaths are on Staten Island. NBC also reports that damages from Hurricane Sandy likely will exceed $50 billion.

Hurricane Sandy Coverage FREEPORT Story by Kevin Madigan – K2M Photography I think we've all been in the situation where when we hear an ominous weather report, we dismiss it or don't anticipate it being as bad as they [the weathermen] say. In the beginning of the week of October 22nd, Hurricane Sandy first formed down in the Caribbean. As with any storm, various meteorologists began to track Sandy and project its next move. When the storm began to shift northward, a handful of potential paths were established as to where the storm could go. Many of the projected paths were aiming for the New York-New Jersey area. But us being the stubborn New Yorkers we tend to be, we downplayed the storm. As with Irene in 2010, everyone expected the usual coastal flooding and increased wind gusts. A week after it first formed, Hurricane Sandy made landfall over the New Jersey coastline. Its counterclockwise motion combined with the monthly full moon made for results no one thought possible. Monday morning and early afternoon the effects started to become transparent as the wind and rain increased

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and waterways swelled.

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As the weather picked up so did the storm based runs for multiple fire departments across the island. Having been a member of the Freeport Fire Department for almost three years and being around the fire service since eight years old, I have seen various incidents. However, during the height of Sandy and the days that followed I don't think I could have ever anticipated the scenes I witnessed and was a part of. Monday night, when Sandy was hitting us hardest, was a night of all calls and no sleep. Aside from the usual trees and wires down, we were getting reports of actual fires throughout town. Because of the frequency of these reported fires the best we could do was send one, maybe two engines to a call. Many of these fires were based on the south part of town and access to them was hindered by rising floodwaters. Radio transmissions just kept getting refreshed with new locations for reported fires. I should've known Monday afternoon it was going to be a long day. That was the time we fought our first fire on Branch Avenue, the good news: the water was only waist high then. Aside from running continuous calls on Monday night, was the worry in my mind of my own home in south Freeport and just how bad it was faring. When the radio finally quieted down a bit for us was not far from the time the sun was coming up Tuesday morning. The first call of Tuesday: a gas explosion of a home on Saint Marks Avenue. When the call toned out, the address had an eerie familiarity to it - it was a member of my company. When our company arrived we found his home nearly destroyed. At eighty two years old he's no young man but I can tell you this...he's a lucky man because he's alive as is his wife. Though they were trapped for a brief time, they survived, were transported, and soon released. Returning from that call was a meeting at Freeport Truck Company that said each company was to get a piece of the south part of town and do well being checks. Having received our assignment, this was the first chance I had at seeing the wreckage left behind by Sandy in the daylight. Passing through the streets were the common sights of watery destruction and homeowners with the look of not knowing where to start. In the days that followed the storm we continued to be called to various alarms, some of them ended up being working fires. Many of them were oil tank and wire calls, not much for us to do. Over those days, my company received two separate crews from upstate departments. Having the four and then seven men crews was a pleasure. It took my mind off of the tragedies transpiring outside Hose 4 and I came to learn of their way of life and firefighting. The dozens of hours these crews spent getting to us speaks volumes of the fire service. They defined brotherhood and dedication.

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In Freeport, a home and a few businesses burned down because we could not access them. Many more businesses were left flooded along with hundreds of homes. Boats were strewn across residential streets like toys, we had well over a dozen working fires, and the Nautical Mile was decimated. The sights I witnessed and stories I heard spoke of the power of Sandy, something many of us greatly underestimated. The storm brought out a variety of emotions in me. I think one of the most important lessons I learned, as others should, is not taking the little things in life for granted. Now in the long, rebuilding phase from Sandy the best thing we can do is be there for one another. The task of returning to normalcy is difficult but it can made easier when we have assistance. Lastly, my greatest hope is that people come to recognize the dedication of their volunteer fire service. Many of us have been balancing destroyed homes to roll apparatus to better the lives of people we may not know. But that is what we do. We are great, we are strong, and we will recover. I wish all those affected by this tragedy nothing but healing in this time of hardship.

Hurricane Sandy Hits AMITYVILLE, LINDENHURST& MASSAPEQUA Photos by Lauren Cronemeyer

Massapequa’s West End

South Massapequa


South Massapequa


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Long Island FD Rant News – Hurricane Sandy Special Edition Part 1 – November 2012

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MANHASSETT-LAKEVILLE Kicks Off Busy Week Story by Kirk Candan Photos by Lee Genser and Kirk Candan On Monday, October 29th, 2012 while Long Island and the rest of the East Coast was busy preparing for Hurricane Sandy’s arrival, at 8:33AM, Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department Companies 4 and 5 were dispatched to 50 Bates Road for reported primary electrical wires down on top of a vehicle with fire. Deputy Chief Pisani (8702)was the first unit to respond and was advised that the homeowner was now stating their car and house were on fire. With this information, Deputy Chief Pisani asked that Company 3 and the Ambulance Unit be added to the initial assignment. Engine 8740 was the first piece of apparatus to arrive on the scene and informed Deputy Chief Pisani that they had a working car fire with primary wire down and extension to the home. Upon arrival of Deputy Chief Pisani, a “Signal 10” was transmitted for a working house fire. Once the power line was deenergized by LIPA, the crews of Engine 8740, 8735 and 8758 stretched three 1” ¾ hose lines, two of which were used to extinguish the fire. The crews of Ladder 8743 and Tower Ladder 8744 overhauled and checked for extension. The Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company responded as the F.A.S.T. with Ladder 8312 and Assistant Chief Forst (839). Other Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department units on scene include Heavy Rescue 8730, Ambulances 8768 and 8769, EMS Fly Car 8799, and Deputy Chiefs Farrone (8705) and Garrigan (8703). All units were released from the scene within an hour.

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BABYLON VILLAGE House Fire Story and Photos by T.J.McGurk – Babylon FD On October 29th, 2012 at approximately 10pm the members of the Babylon Village Fire Department fighting a house fire on Little East Neck Road South during Hurricane Sandy.

Simultaneous Working Fires in BABYLON Photo by Jimmy Kelly Story by Ex-Chief Kevin Morrow - Babylon Village FD This is a picture from a working fire Babylon Village FD had simultaneously to the Little East Neck Rd fire, this one was on Trask Lane, off of Fire Island Avenue.

Tree Damages GARDEN CITY Heavy Rescue Story by Lieutenant Joe Scalise Photo Submitted by Author The evening of October 29, 2012 a large tree fell ontoGarden City’s Rescue 146 while operating at a house call in the "Mott section" of Garden City. R-146 was out of service for hours until the weather was deemed safe enough to cut it out.

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Underwater Firefighting in LINDENHURST Story and Photos by Lauren Foschino - Your My Focus Photography Additional Photos by Lauren Cronemeyer

There’s nothing like fighting a fire in waist deep water. Just hours before the peak of Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island on Monday October 29, 2012, the Lindenhurst Fire Dept. went out with a report of a house fire. A working fire was transmitted upon arrival. Units had issues getting to the fire due to the high water. About twenty minutes into the fire an engine and an army truck made it to the scene. Lindenhurst then brought their boat down to the scene and after the boat was done at the scene it was then being used to rescue people from their homes from the water. The tide rapidly coming in was pushing the engine further and further under water. Mutual aid units from West Babylon came in on a brush truck. Due to the high winds this fire was difficult to put out, heavy smoke was pushing at about 40 miles an hour into the firefighters faces. Photo by Lauren Cronemeyer

Photo by Lauren Cronemeyer

Click Here for Full Gallery on Your My Focus Photography

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Hurricane Sandy Hits Hamptons Bays Photos by Hampton Bays Ambulance Crops

These pictures were taken on Monday October 29th at 3:30 in the afternoon at Tiana Bay in Hampton Bays.

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath in LONG BEACH Photos by Lauren Cronemeyer These pictures show the destruction and devastation of Hurricane Sandy in LONG BEACH the day after the storm pounded the area. New York’s Governor Cuomo issued a State of Emergency which allowed him to call in the National Guard to assist in relief efforts.

Hurricane Sandy Keeps WEST BABYLON Busy Story and Photo by Geraldine Krummenacker Hurricane Sandy kept many departments including West Babylon busy with fires caused by downed power lines. This incident on Great East Neck Road and Nill Street was one of the many fires caused by main lines that came down because of the storm.

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More Sandy Aftermath in LONG BEACH Photos by Fire Marshal Paul Szymanski

Flooding in WEST SAYVILLE Photos by Brett Reiersen The West Sayville Fire Department was kept busy by Hurricane Sandy. Extensive flooding and damage drew residents from their homes. Some used motor boats to get around their neighborhood. The West Sayville Fire Department was also out to assist residents during the aftermath of the storm.

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FRANKLIN SQUARE Working in LONG BEACH Photo and Story Submitted by Justin Pons – Franklin Square and Munson FD This photo was taken at 10 West Broadway, Long Beach sometime around noon on Wednesday October 31, 2012. Working under the command of Uniondale Chief 7500, crews evacuated the Avalon Towers on Wednesday October 31, 2012 along with the assistance of Freeville Fire Department [of Upsate New York] who was standing by at station 2 in the West End of Long Beach. We were in Long Beach multiple times rotating crews for a couple days with our engines from Franklin Square since the storm hit. In the Photograph Ex Chief Anthony Battisti, Ex Captain Joe Capobianco, Lieut. Tim Jones, Firefighter Anthony Gregorio, Firefighter Justin Pons, Firefighter Steve Gabelman. Click Here For Full Story

Sandy Aftermath in SOUTH FREEPORT Photo and Story by Rich Murray These were taken in South Freeport. The boats are all from Hudson Ave & Overton St. The house picture was the home of an elderly couple I treated. The husband hit a light switch not knowing there was a gas leak. What you see is the aftermath. Surprisingly they were both transported with minor injuries.

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Long Island FD Rant News – Hurricane Sandy Special Edition Part 1 – November 2012

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Flooding in LINDENHURST Before Sandy Hits Photos By Lauren Cronemeyer

Sandy Causes Flooding before it makes Landfall

More Flooding the Morning before Sandy

Rant Correspondent Lauren Foschino modeling some pretty fancy rain boots during the storm.

BETHPAGE & MASSAPEQUA Crews Forced To Abandon Apparatus Photo and Story by Robert DeNaro Bethpage’s Brush Truck became disabled after responding to a call in the Nassau Shores section of Massapequa during the storm in the evening of October 29th. They were responding to Massapequa as Mutual Aid to a fire call. This picture shows the truck being towed on October 31st. The members were forced to abandon the rig as it was stuck in a flooded area (they also had to take cover in a house in the area, the dispatcher advised them that if they had to abandon the rig and take cover in a house, then they should do that since she could not advise them to endanger themselves. Bethpage later came up on the Massapequa Frequency and said they were going attempt to launch a boat to rescue them but the dispatcher said that they would have to do so at their own risk-it was too dangerous and she couldn't advise them to do it. She later told a Bethpage member on the radio, "your rig is gone". The transmissions heard during this incident reinforced the level of danger that responders were facing during this storm.

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LONG BEACH, POINT LOOKOUT-LIDO and ISLAND PARK Photos by Fire Marshal Paul Hartje

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Sandy Destruction in NORTH WOODMERE PARK Photos by Fire Marshal Paul Szymanski

Destruction in FREEPORT & MASSAPEQUA Photos by Lauren Cronemeyer

10/30/12 South Massapequa

10/30/12 S. Ocean Ave, Freeport


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Long Island FD Rant News – Hurricane Sandy Special Edition Part 1 – November 2012

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Manorville Fire Department Station 1 ‘Vigilant Truck & Engine Company #3” Lieutenant

Matthew Thomas November 2012 Attention Brothers and Sisters; I’m sure we all know someone who was recently affected by Hurricane Sandy and are in need of assistance. I’ve been in touch with some people from West Hamilton Beach & Broad Channel VFD in Queens and Richmond Engine Co 1 in Staten Island, and they have lost most if not all of their equipment from the storm. So the members of Manorville FD decided to help out and we are now reaching out to our follow neighbors. Some of the equipment they are looking for: - Hand Tools - Scott SCBA’s (4.5 w/ integrated PASS) - Radio’s (VHF) & Batteries - Gear (coats, pants, boots, gloves, hoods, etc) - Hose - Nozzles - Hurst Tools, Airbags, Power Saws. - Flashlights Every little bit will help with the healing process. If you cannot donate such items, we are also taking cash donations which will be split between all three departments. If you can help in anyway it would be much appreciated. You can contact me at (631) 603-8984 to arrange drop off or pick up. Thank you in advance and I look forward to working with you all. Firematically,

Matthew Thomas Lieutenant 170 CRANFORD BLVD. MASTIC, NEW YORK11950 Tel: (631) 281-3688

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FD Rant News Special Editon Hurricane Sandy Part 1  

On October 29, 2012 a storm of epic proportions made landfall in the Northeast. For the next several days and weeks, the fire service on Lo...