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Pine Brook FD Pumps 60 Homes

The Towaco and Montville fire departments and the town roads department helped them finish earlier than expected.

Pine Brook Fire Department volunteers pumped water out of 60 flooded homes, helped clear roads of trees and evacuated residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, the department's fire chief said.

By 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, firefighters finished pumping all of the homes they could with current water conditions, which was almost all of them, and firefighters regrouped at the Bloomfield Avenue firehouse. Some said they were looking forward to going home and sleeping.

Pine Brook Fire Chief Herb Eggers said the department had assistance from Montville and Towaco fire departments and the town road department, which enabled them to complete the pump-outs sooner than expected.

At times, the all-volunteer fire department had 35 members working during the storm. They pumped cellars until around 1 a.m. Wednesday and started again several hours later.

"We started at 10 p.m. Saturday night and our men have been running almost continuously since then," he said.

One resident showed his appreciation for the firefighters by bringing them trays of ribs, fire officials said.

"It's not something we do everyday, fortunately, but it is something we're prepared to do everyday," firefighter Carl Patterson said of the rescue and recovery efforts.

Michael September 03, 2011 at 02:40 PM
Mr. Gallapo--- You wrote a blog previous to this right, you drove around with the cops to see what its like in town right? And you're involved in this whole Morris County Communications dispatch thing , right? Well how busy was the town and do you actually think another town could do it---honestly? Only lesson in this------thank god for our town still doing it !!!!!!! Listen to the residents---when thousands of dollars are paid--at least we can talk to someone up the street--not some kid literally towns away who has no idea about where I live. address this in your blog.Huge lesson here----keep it in town. My parents and neighbors agree--can't say it enough! Listen to the voters----and I'm only one voice!!!! I'm furious about flooding but things could have been alot worse if I had nobody in our town to talk to!
Dave F September 03, 2011 at 03:51 PM
Piney2 - the guy just told you he wanted to review "the operational effectiveness of all 4 functions and the OEM". How is that a face saving maneuver?
Cher September 05, 2011 at 12:00 AM
@ Lisa, thanks for the kudos to all who worked hard over the weekend. I was on the desk with John Barbieri for those 4 days and I worked straight thru from saturday noon til 6 am sunday (18 hr day) and then took a rest before returning back on the desk at noon sunday. I never went home, sacrificing my own time away from my family for the residents of Montville. I can say the phones never stopped ringing, we consistently had 5 lines ringing at every moment for those days dealing with all sorts of questions and complaints. cont'd
Cher September 05, 2011 at 12:02 AM
cont'd Our officers were out during the night of the evacuations and we spent countless hours on the phone dealing with that. As soon as we were provided information, we passed it along. 3 of our committee people spent time either at HQ's or in a police car as a ride along, they were involved in a lot in the operations and saw what was going on behind the scenes that most residents did not see. As far as JCP&L, we were calling them with the major stuff and faxing them with the minor stuff. When we call them, it goes to a central dispatch in Ohio somewhere, we do not have contact with any local crews, so therefore we never get updates. They need to improve their service with that. As far as people who feel we did a lousy job, they never saw the other side of the fence and they cannot even fathom what went on in our dispatch center, etc.. I have been with the town for 18 yrs, and I have worked through blizzards, other hurricanes and other storms. I can say that this was by far, the worse storm I have ever worked through in regards to the volume of calls that we handled those days. All the volunteers from the FD's and first aid squad also put in countless hours. I saw some of them in our emergency operations center straight through from 10 pm saturday night til 6 pm sunday night, they never went home or slept. All the dedication that everyone (volunteers and twp employees) showed during those days was above and beyond all expectations.
Cher September 05, 2011 at 12:02 AM
cont'd Most residents were grateful, some are not. Can't please everyone, but be grateful we have a township like Montville with caring and dedicated volunteers and employees.

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