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W. Islip firefighter helps pull siblings from rubble

Members of the New York City Urban Search

Members of the New York City Urban Search and Rescue Task Force and the Virginia Search and Rescue Team rescue Kiki and his sister Sabrina on Tuesday, one week after a 7.0 earthquake trapped the two inside their home. Click here to read Charles Eckert's diary from Haiti. (Jan. 19, 2010) Credit: Charles Eckert

"It was amazing."

That was FDNY battalion chief Joseph Downey's description of the dramatic rescue of two young children in Haiti in an e-mail to his wife, Lynn, late Tuesday.

Downey, of West Islip, is part of an 80-member FDNY-NYPD urban rescue unit that has pulled six quake survivors from collapsed buildings in Port-au-Prince since Saturday.

>>PHOTOS: Newsday's Charles Eckert in Haiti | Frantic rescue effort in Haiti

In the latest rescue, Downey and the rest of the unit learned about the two children at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, when an American aid worker found that a man had been lowering bottled water into a hole in three stories of debris down to what he believed was a trapped, living child, said an NYPD spokesman.

Downey's unit used a video camera probe to locate a boy, 8, and a girl, 10, and extricate them.

"What an incredible experience and rescue," Downey said in the e-mail, which his wife shared with Newsday. "A brother and sister," Kiki and Sabrina, "trapped for over 8 days."

"Everyone is well, feeling great after the rescues," added Downey. "Please spread the news."

Earlier in the day, the team recovered the bodies of three children, siblings of the survivors, from the same wreckage, said the NYPD. The two surviving children were taken to an Israeli tent hospital, where they were being treated, said officials. Both children were reunited with their parents, said police.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said the rescue team, which has saved six people so far, is expected to stay in Haiti at least until Saturday.

>>PHOTOS: Newsday's Charles Eckert in Haiti | Frantic rescue effort in Haiti | Deadliest recent earthquakes

>> LIVE: Twitter coverage of the scene in Haiti, from aid agencies, and reaction worldwide

>> VIDEOS: Latest videos from Haiti and on LI

>> MORE: Read more about LIers grieving and LI's efforts to help | Latest news from Haiti | Haiti's road to chaos: 2006 Newsday series



* You can help immediately by texting "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be charged to your cell phone bill and given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts.

* Wyclef Jean, a rapper and hip-hop artist from Haiti, urged people to text "Yele" to 501501 to donate $5 toward earthquake relief. Yéle Haiti is a grassroots movement inspiring change in Haiti through programs in education, sports, the arts and environment, according to its Web site.

* The State Department Operations Center has set up the following number for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747. The Red Cross has also set up a Web site to help family members find and contact relatives.

* You can also go online to organizations such as the Red Cross and MercyCorps to make a contribution to the disaster relief efforts.

The FBI warned Internet users to be wary of e-mail messages seeking donations in the aftermath of the quake. People who want to send money or assistance should contribute to known organizations and should be careful not to respond to unsolicited e-mails, officials said.


Other Web sites accepting donations include:

-Haitian Health Foundation
-Hope for Haiti
-International Medical Corps
-Beyond Borders

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