Orange County firefighters who were deployed to help on Long Island during Hurricane Sandy discussed their experiences at a meeting with the county executive Tuesday.
Orange County Executive Edward A. Diana and Deputy Commissioner of Fire Services Vini Tankasali held a roundtable discussion at the Emergency Services Center in Goshen with 15 firefighters, representing some of the 17 fire departments, who participated in 19 separate 72-hour deployments to Long Island during the superstorm, according to a county news release Wednesday.
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"You do an incredible job for our residents here all year long, and yet still found the time to help those who were in need," Diana was quoted as telling the firefighters in the release. "Thank you for your hard work and to your families for their sacrifices."
Through the New York State Fire Marshal Aid plan, resources from Orange County were called upon to assist towns in Nassau and Suffolk counties that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy and required assistance with fire apparatus and personnel to handle storm-related fires and emergencies, as well as day-to-day calls, the release said.
"On top of their normal daily duties, these brave firefighters went above and beyond," Tankasali was quoted as telling the firefighters in the release. "It is a true testament to the Orange County Fire Services."
In one of the first deployments, the Walden Fire Department traveled to the hamlet of Oceanside in the Town of Hempstead just after the local firefighters had received 700 calls, the release said. Local residents were so happy to see the Orange County firefighters that people lined up to shake their hands, knowing that "we didn't have to come," and that "we were there on our own time," the release said.
The Unionville Fire Department was deployed to East Rockaway in Nassau County and said that the south side of the village was so dark that when its deployment was coming to an end, the local residents "didn't want us to go."
Stationed in Seaford, Long Island, the Greenwood Lake Fire Department responded to numerous calls regarding carbon monoxide exposure and experienced an "extremely appreciative" public that "took very good care of us," the release said.
For more information on Orange County Fire Service, call 845-374-1900 or visit www.orangecountygov.com.