MAYVILLE - Local officials gathered at Station 7 at the Chautauqua County Office of Emergency Services in Mayville on Thursday, Nov. 8 to send off two local firefighters who are taking emergency supplies to New York City to aid emergency responders during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
On Monday, Oct. 29, Hurricane Sandy made landfall wreaking havoc on the Eastern Coast as a storm surge and strong winds caused major flooding and structural damage to homes, neighborhoods and businesses in New York City and New Jersey. The storm also knocked down trees and power lines contributing to more than 2.8 million power outages across the Northeast.
Chautauqua Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mark Powers and Brocton Firefighter Seth Strahan left Mayville with a 16-foot cube truck full of essential first responder gear and supplies and headed to Glendale, a neighborhood located in the west-central portion of Queens in New York City.
Local businesses donated supplies and money to help aid firefighters and emergency service agencies in New York City and New Jersey. Pictured front row to back row from left to right are: Captain of Brocton Fire Department Seth Strahan; Devin Ireland of J. Edwards Insurance Agency; Jeff Ireland of J. Edwards Insurance Agency; John Griffith of Z&M Ag and Turf; Rick Cole of Home Depot; Director of the Office of Emergency Services Julius Leone, Jr.; Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards; and Chief of Chautauqua Volunteer Fire Department Mark Powers.
"We have received an outpouring of phone calls and emails from fire departments and emergency services in New York City and New Jersey," Chautauqua County Office of Emergency Services Director Julius Leone, Jr., said. "Many of them are running out of supplies or have had their emergency and medical equipment destroyed by the hurricane."
Among the calls and emails for help was an email they received from Ryan Gunning, Chief of the Glendale Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc. in Glendale.
"We were out there since Saturday morning trying to educate people to prepare, and out there in the storm and post storm," Gunning said in his email. "We cut down over 100 trees that had fallen, opening up roads for emergency vehicles, assisting the National Guard and other emergency services remove victims from their vehicles trapped under trees, and in areas that were affected by flooding. Fortunately, we were not hit as hard as many others. However, our service, the Glendale Volunteer Ambulance Corps, has exhausted its resources and money."
In an effort to aid fire departments and emergency services impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the Office of Emergency Services along with fire departments and hospitals from across the county have donated medical supplies to aid emergency responders. Together they have donated 76 turnout coats, 50 pairs of turnout pants, 29 helmets, 12 pairs of boots, 10 50-foot lengths of fire hose, six air packs, five EMS jumpsuits, two cold water rescue suits, two spare bottles of air, one stokes rescue basket, one gurney pad and other emergency equipment and dressings for life support.
Penske, Home Depot and Chautauqua Institution have also contributed by covering the cost of the cube truck to haul the gear and Pro Oil in Silver Creek and J. Edwards Insurance Agency in Jamestown and Panama have donated money to pay for toll and fuel expenses.
Z&M Ag and Turf in Falconer and Clymer have also donated three chainsaws, two fuel cans and oil to help remove fallen trees. Home Depot also donated a chainsaw and 100 pairs of winter work gloves.
"This is further evidence of the uniqueness of Chautauqua County," County Executive Greg Edwards said. "The people here have generous hearts, willing hands, and a commitment to first responders not only in our county but to other first responders in need. In addition, many of the local businesses who have donated equipment and the money necessary to get the supplies to Queens had management or employees that are firefighters in our County."