Hurricane Irene Disaster, EMAT Deployment – Delaware County, NY

Through the Office of Emergency Management and NYS Fire, The Gates Fire District was requested to respond as part of the Swift Water Rescue Team, along with multiple other Monroe County Units to Delaware County, NY to assist Fire Departments in the region due to flooding. The region received extreme amounts of rain as a result of Hurricane Irene moving through New York State.

Battalion Chief Derek Hardy and Safety Officer Shane Bagley responded to Delaware County, NY on Squad 4537 with the Achillies Rescue boat for a 3-5 day deployment.  During their travels, the crew faced down trees and impassable roads due to high water or roads being washed away.

While enroute, the Monroe County Units were advised of active rescues taking place in the town of Margaretville.  Once in the area, the firefighters from Gates were teamed up with firefighters from North Greece and Scottsville Fire Departments to begin effecting rescues.  Three rescue teams were activated and dispatched to assist with removing a resident from her home that was being overtaken by swift water.

Rescue lines were secured from a guardrail to the residence, and the Gates Fire District boat as well as North Greece’s Rapid Deployment Craft we deployed for the rescue and removal of the resident.  2 Swimmers were sent to make contact with the resident and gain entry to the residence by forcing the front door open using a halligan bar and flat headed axe.  Once inside the residence, another swim team was deployed to assist with preparing the resident for her assistance to safe land.

During the rescue process, Swim Team 2 and the victim came into trouble.  Swim team 3 was deployed as well as the RDC, and the victim was again secured for removal.  The victim was brought to safe land with assistance from firefighters assigned to Teams 1 and 3 consisting of members from Gates, North Greece and Scottsville Fire Departments.

Monroe County’s Swift Water Team was assigned to the Margaretville Fire Station for the evening.  The following morning, the team was deployed to Albany NY, where we stood by at the NYS Urban Search and Rescue Facility.

Once damage assessments were completed, it was determined that the assets from Monroe County were no longer needed, and we returned to service in Monroe County.


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