Hurricane Irene Disaster, EMAT Deployment – Broome County, NY

Through the Office of Emergency Management and NYS Fire, The Gates Fire District was requested to respond along with multiple other Monroe County Units to Broome County, NY to assist Fire Departments in the region do to flooding. The region received extreme amounts of rain over a 10 day period from 2 separate weather systems that moved through New York State. Fire Fighters John Coval Sr, Daniel DiSalvo, Tom List, and Scott Morse responded to Broome County, NY on Rescue 4528 for a 3 day deployment. GFD FF’s arrived at the EOC (Emergency Operations Center ) in Binghamton, NY on Thursday September 8, 2011 along with units from West Webster, Hilton, and Brockport. Gates FD was quickly put into action and sent to the West Corners Fire Department to assist them with operations. Gates FD firefighters were accompanied by units from Canbridge FD and Norfolk FD. In the first hour of arrival to the West Corners FD, Gates FD firefighters preformed EMS on an 8 year old child involved in a bicycle accident. The child was treated by Gates FF’s and sent to a local hospital via Union EMS.

Over the course of the next 72 hours, Gates FD units assisted with water problems and Carbon Monoxide calls. Gates FD units worked along side West Corners FD units on several of these calls. Quick thinking of Gates FD FF List potentially saved the life of a homeowner who was using 2 generators to power his house and evacuate water. FF List recognized something was not right, asked for assistance and on further investigation, contacted the West Corners FD to respond with Gas Meters to check the house. Once the West Corners FF’s put their meter to work and entered the front door, the meter picked up readings of CO over 200 ppm. While checking the basement of the home, West Corners FD FF’s found CO readings in the 400’s ppm. Gates FD assisted with ventilation of the house as the cause was found to be from the 2 working generators. The homeowner had planned to stay the night at the home. That obviously did not happen. Utilities to the home were secured and the house locked up after ventilation was complete.

The Gates FD unit completed approx, 30 calls for service. A majority of the calls were for water evacuation and assisting the homeowners anyway possible. All the people the Gates FD unit encountered were very grateful for our service and coming into their county and town to assist them. It was hard to leave after our deployment ended. The Firefighters and Ladies Auxiliary of the West Corners FD were great to us. After working hard in the field,there was always a warm meal, beverages, and shower for us on our return. The members of the West Corners FD treated us as one of their own.


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