Local EMS Responds to Sandy

By Kelly McCarthy

October 31, 2012 Updated Nov 1, 2012 at 10:40 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) A number of Southern Tier first responders are helping with relief efforts of Hurricane Sandy. New York and Pennsylvania State Departments requested aid and received a large response from this area.

Action News finds out why making the trip downstate for the EMS crews was an easy choice.

The Twin Tiers was largely spared, but local emergency responders are still at work.

"We already had these units on stand by here because of our own possibility of flooding...we said listen our risk is down they need our help so Endwell and Johnson City were dispatched at 12:30 a.m.," said Bret Chellis of Broome County Emergency Services.

Heading out Tuesday to New York City, Atlantic City, and Long Island, where the damage speaks for itself.

"Some of them when they first got down there were pretty awed," said Chellis.

"We have heard from them, we are getting reports, and they're saying that the area is devastated as much as Hurricane Katrina if not worse," said Chuck Bement of Greater Valley EMS.

Greater Valley EMS sent paramedics to help respond to 911 calls.

Broome County deployed 13 units from 13 departments, with another five units ready to go at any moment.

To assist with water rescue, emergency services, and additional aid.

"We send mutual aid ambulance in to not only respond to the emergencies but to also give the folks down there a break in responding to the emergencies," said Bement.

Driving down in an ambulance bringing only the bare essentials and staying for at least 72 hours.

"It's different when it's out of your community, because we're in good shape, we're rested, we're ready to go, and it really makes a difference," said Bement.

Because the responders that were in Hurricane Sandy's path are also victims.

It's a situation departments in the Twin Tier know all too well.

"They helped us, we're going to help them," said Chellis.

"I'm sure they're feeling the same sense of relief that we felt, that even though they're in the middle of a disaster, there's still help," said Bement.

What may be why so many of the first responders from the Twin Tiers were among the first to answer the call for help.