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Fortunately spared

Hurricane Sandy didn’t hit S.W. Virginia as hard as expected. We were fortunate. Not all of the East coast was.

I would not have bet on her missing us. Like the hurricane, everything was in place for “the perfect  storm”. You see, I’m riding as the acting Battalion for the North Side this cycle. The last time I rode was back on June 29th when a  “Derecho” blew through town.

At the time, I didn’t even know what a “Derecho” was. Now, I’ll never forget. We were right smack in the middle of it …. a living HELL. Read my post about that night by clicking the title below.

A Vision of Calm in the midst of Hell

I say we were fortunate yesterday because as bad as I thought we had it back in June, it was NOTHING compared to what our Brothers and Sisters on the North Eastern Coast (and inland) faced last night.

Sandy made landfall in New Jersey but caused havoc from South Carolina to Maine. She was devastating to say the least. Reports are of at least 48 dead (including a LODD) and millions without power. In New York City, entire blocks burned. Houses were washed away in New Jersey, businesses destroyed and more, much more and worse.

The damages and rebuilding costs are sure to be overwhelming. The loss of life, 10 fold.

Lt. Russ Neary of Easton, Connecticut has been identified as the Firefighter who died in the Line Of Duty. More details in the links below …

Easton, Connecticut LODD Lt. Russ Neary (FireCritic)

You can also find more coverage of Hurricane Sandy and her after math in the links below …….

Raw Video of FDNY in action (Dave Statter)

Hurricane Sandy coverage from The Fire Critic

More Video out of Queens on Fire Critic

Fox News.com

For many of the millions in the path of (and affected by) hurricane Sandy, those hours she devoured the East Coast may have very well been the worst of their life.

On the other hand, I feel as if it may have been “our finest hour” for first responders (I say that with all due respect to the affected …. allow me to explain).

You see, those Firefighters, Police Officers, Medics, National Guard, Coast Guard members etc. pulling a tour also lived in Sandy’s path. They knew all to well that their personal lives / property would be affected yet they “stood their post”. It’s what we do !

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They stood their post and performed BEAUTIFULLY!

I’ve read reports of members swimming to burning building to make searches / rescues.

Fire trucks loaded onto tractor trailers to better handle the high and rising water in the streets.

Rigs drafting flood water to knock down heavily involved buildings.

Swift Water teams making countless rescues.

Much like those members guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the actions of our Brothers and Sisters in response to hurricane Sandy scream of PRIDE and HONOR.

I should also mention the dispatchers (telecommunicators) on duty during the storm. WOW ! There’s no way we could do what we do without them.

I tried to listen to FDNY’s live dispatch between our runs and they continue to amaze me with their  proficiency.

If you’ve never listened in, you should. You’ll be shocked. Take a listen and see what I mean, thanks to our Brothers over at The Bravest.com

There were several individuals  (on the larger scale) who stood out in my mind as well.

Folks like Mike Brooks of HLN, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, NYC Mayor Bloomburg and a few more.

I know Mike Brooks personally and he had one hell of a segment on HLN yesterday. I haven’t been able to find it yet so I’ll wait until tomorrow to tell ya why these folks stand out in my mind.

I’ll also give a tip of the hat to my administration. Although we weren’t hit as hard as most (or as expected), we were prepared.

Unlike when the Derecho hit, we were not caught off guard. We were kept informed, given up to date projections / information and provided the necessary resources.

Fortunately, we only faced high winds and cold temps. Apparently the clean up from June’s Derecho was effective because we didn’t see near the number of downed power lines.

The Brothers from Stations #6, #11 and #1 made quick work of a residential fire over in South East. Other than that, we were spared any major incidents.

Just a quick post to say WELL DONE to everyone who pulled a tour during hurricane Sandy. STRONG WORK ! As power is restored and the water recedes, our duties will be just as hazardous. Situational and Positional Awareness !

Stay SAFE and in House … I’ll check back in tomorrow night.

Captain Wines

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