Greenport firefighters join response to Sandy

GREENPORT–Chief Gary Mazzacano reports that the Greenport Fire Department has made two deployments to Long Island with the department’s heavy rescue truck as part of the State Fire Mutual Aid mobilization following Super Storm Sandy.

Columbia County Fire Coordinator John Howe solicited companies to volunteer to be deployed for 72- hour shifts with certain apparatus needed and numerous county companies answered the call, including Greenport. Chief Mazzacano, Asst. Chief John Onufrychuk, Captain Thomas Shumsky, Firefighters John Davi, Sean Lee and Kyle Witko, the second group deployed, were assigned to staff the East Station of the Long Beach Fire Department along with fire companies from Arlington, Fairview, Millbrook from Dutchess County and Olive Fire Co from Ulster County. Together they responded to 45 calls ranging from basement fires, gas odors, alarm activations, backed up furnaces, auto accident, oil spills and carbon monoxide calls, including the rescue of two victims unconscious from generator running inside the residence.

Additionally the firefighters worked in the firehouse cleaning, organizing the station, equipment, donated clothing and food, and cooking for the 22 members working there. Members of the Olive and Greenport companies additionally assisted one of the Long Beach fireman in removing sheetrock, insulation and other goods damaged by the floodwaters from his residence.

Asst. Chief Onufrychuk and Captain Shumsky had the opportunity to revisit the Island Park fire station where they were assigned in the first deployment last week along with Asst. Chief Bob Banks, Lt. Ryan Wexler, Doug Garrison and Chris Pierro.

The chief said that Long Beach is a long way from being back to normal but he added, “We were glad to have the opportunity to help. Numerous residents expressed their thanks both personally and on a flag at the entrance to the city.”

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