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Emergency Services Work More Than 24 Hours During Irene

Patchogue FD Chief Joe Perry and Department of Public Works Supervisor Joe Dean discuss the emergency services' efforts during the tropical storm.

The worked more than 24 hours while Tropical Storm Irene several blocks in the south end of the village earlier this week.

“My guys did a terrific job. They were out all night,” Joe Perry, chief of the department said.

Perry said that the department went out 20 to 25 times in the storm, and received between 15 to 18 calls in the middle of Irene.

“Patchogue took a punch, she took a jab and held up really well,” Perry said.

While flooding from storm surge as the bandshell, by Monday most of the water had .

The members of the fire department were scheduled to begin their shift at 9 p.m. Saturday, but began work much earlier at 12 p.m. to prepare for the storm. The volunteers continued working until Perry sent them home at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Perry also complimented the Village for helping the department get everything they needed during the operation.

“The village supported the fire department amazingly, whatever it was we needed the Mayor told us it was just a phone call away and it was,” Perry said. Examples cited included tree removal through Joe Dean and the department of public works.

Dean said that the department of public works also put in plenty of hours last weekend during the storm.

“We had a dozen guys overnight from 10 p.m. through 6 p.m. (Saturday into Sunday),” Dean said. In addition, Dean said the department had 20 members work from 11 a.m. through 8 p.m. Sunday, and the full staff out Monday at 6 a.m.

Perry said that one of the biggest challenges for the department during the storm involved people that did not heed safety warnings to stay indoors.

“The water was breaking onto the booth (), and people were walking down to that. When they get in trouble my guys have to go there,” Perry said.

Dean also said that it was crucial that people realize that storms like Irene are not a spectator sport.

“People need to stay away from the areas impeded by flooding and let us do the job for the residents that are down there,” Dean said.

Other emergency services that worked through the storm included Patchogue and Medford Ambulance Companies, Patchogue Village Public Safety, Patchogue Village Parks and Recreation Department, American Red Cross and the Suffolk County Police Department.

The efforts were not lost on residents, who complimented the departments on Patch.

“The workers in the village of Patchogue always do a really great job, we are truly lucky,” commented on a .

“I want to thank the Patchogue Fire Fighters and the Chiefs for being out there round the clock to make sure that this village was safe,” also commented.

Perry also had several safety tips for residents who are still without power or have standing water in their neighborhood.

Perry advises residents who still do not have power to shut off their main power line and each breaker one by one. When power returns, turn the main back on and one breaker at a time. Perry said that in rare cases, issues sometimes arise if a power surge comes back on and all the breakers are on at once.

Perry also advises to not walk into the standing water, as it is a mixture of water, sewage and possibly oil. Downed power lines may also make standing water prone to electrocution on contact.

Residents should also not remove barricades that have been placed up, and that LIPA will be removing trees that are entangled with power lines.

Perry also advises to boaters to exercise extreme caution if they go out in the bay because of debris that is in the water.

Additionally, Perry said that there were no fatalities in Patchogue during the storm.

The department has finished their storm operations, but are available for calls. The village emergency line is 475-1225.

Christie September 01, 2011 at 02:52 AM
There is no place I rather live then in the Village of Patchogue during a hurricane. Great job by Patchogue Fire Department and village code enforcement protecting the residents and village employees also did a magnificent during and after with clean up. I can not say thank you enough to all who were out there round the clock to make sure this village was safe. Job well done!

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