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911 CARES Spearheading support of dispatchers affected by Hurricane Sandy

Date: 2012-11-08
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Among the unsung heroes in the public safety response to and recovery from Hurricane Sandy are the emergency dispatchers who worked tirelessly behind the scenes, answering the thousands of 9-1-1 calls and coordinating the response to innumerable emergencies including huge fires in NYC and a myriad of emergencies in cities and towns large and small throughout the affected region.  Many of these dispatchers lost their own homes in the devastation of the hurricane.

Photo Above Right: Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012. At the time of this image Sandy was the strongest hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, the largest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, and had the lowest pressure of a non-major hurricane at 940 mbar, surpassing Hurricane Alex (2010) pressure of 946 mbar for that record.
Photo: NOAA/ NRL Monterey Marine Meteorology Division

The 911 CARES project is facilitating support and sharing needs received from area public safety communications centers.

Among these is a report that at least 20 dispatchers from the Fire Department, City of New York (FDNY) have lost their homes, either due to fire, flood, or having their home swept from its foundation.

911 CARES asks that donations be sent to FDNY Communications, Attn FAYE/SANDY RELIEF, 83-98 Woodhaven Blvd, Woodhaven, NY 11421. Faye will coordinate distribution to the FDNY dispatchers in concert with their union and FDNY Communications.

Needs include the following: (Note: all items must be new or gently used and must be clean (due to power and water issues, they have no laundry ability):

  • Adult jeans, sweats, t-shirts and polos of any size.
  • Blankets, bedding, towels of any type
  • Toiletries, soap, laundry soap, hand sanitizer, lotions.
  • Sealed and new snacks, coffee, etc.
  • Baby formula, toys, games, books.
  • Right now due to lack of power, do not send cooking, kitchen or items that need electricity.

“Basically, imagine no home and you are starting fresh,” notes 911CARES’ Kevin Willett. “What would your family need. PLEASE include a note saying who the items are coming from and that you heard via 911 CARES. Also contact info in case they have time to thank you later or have a question regarding your goodies. A card of support is always welcome. Kids cards and letters always brighten people’s days.”

PSTC is assembling a list of losses suffered by PD and EMS dispatchers and we post it soon on their web site and Facebook page.

“We will evenly distribute cards based on needs,” said Willett. “We will ship cards as we get them and ensure fair distribution. We are working hand in hand with NY911 and their various unions.”

911CARES has set up a relief fund in support of affected dispatchers.  Monetary donations can be made online via 911 CARES here.

Further updates will be posted at www.911cares.com

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via 911 CARES, 11/7/12)

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