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Washington County ambulance and highway crews help harder hit storm areas

November 02, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Adam Brothers holds items he pulled from the basement of his apartment, which was flooded during Superstorm Sandy, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Hoboken, N.J. Most of the city remained without electricity Friday, four days after a tidal surge sent the Hudson River over its banks and into homes and businesses.
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Having been spared the worst of Hurricane Sandy, ambulance and state highway crews from Washington County have been deployed to harder hit areas, including the New Jersey shore and snowbound Garrett County in Maryland.

Two ambulance strike teams arrived Thursday at the Atlantic County Training Center in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., according to a Thursday email from Capt. Jeremy Mackrell of Community Rescue Service. They were then redeployed to Northern New Jersey where their base of operations in Rutherford, N.J., Mackrell wrote.

The ambulance crews were running 911 calls Friday evening, Mackrell wrote in an email.

The Community Rescue ambulances are part of Strike Force 2, which also includes units from Baltimore City and Talbot County, Md., Mackrell wrote.

EMTs Henry Vidal and Christian Rejonis are with Mackrell in one of the ambulances, said Capt. Robert Buck of Community Rescue Service. The other ambulance is staffed by Lts. Brett and Kara Kile and Paramedic Billy Eichelberger, Buck said.

The deployment to New Jersey is expected to last seven to nine days, Buck said.

Possible assignments will include responding to 911 calls, search and rescue, water rescue and shelter assistance, Mackrell wrote.

On Friday, Community Rescue sent a third strike team to Garrett County, led by Capt. Dennis Browne, said Buck. Paramedic J.P. Miller and EMT Billy Woods are with Browne in a deployment that is expected to last into Sunday, Buck said.

Community Rescue still has plenty of assets in Washington County with five fully-staffed paramedic ambulances in the county, Buck said.

Two crews from the Maryland State Highway Administration shop in Hagerstown were sent to Garrett County on Thursday to help clear roads, Highway Administration spokesman Charlie Gischlar said Friday.

Crews from other counties have been deployed to Garrett County and will be working “until roads are passable,” a Highway Administration press release stated.

Each crew consists of six members with a loader, dump truck and crew cab pickup, Gischlar said. Crews are working 12-hour shifts, he said.

Clearing the roads involves more than lowering the plow and pushing two or more feet of snow, Gischlar said. The snow obscures downed trees, branches and power lines that also have to be cleared away, he said.

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