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Fire Chiefs Thank Volunteers, Families

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To the Editor:

As our communities get back to a sense of normalcy after the most devastating storm our area has ever suffered, we would like to take time to thank the members of The Wyckoff Volunteer Fire Department, as well as all of the emergency services, Department of Public Works, Office of Emergency Management, Township Employees and our Township Committee.

In preparation for Hurricane Sandy, the members of the Wyckoff Volunteer Fire Department went to each of their firehouses to prepare the trucks and equipment in anticipation of handling any emergency situation that could occur.

While Township Officials, OEM and members of all the Township Departments met to prepare in advance of the storm, no one could anticipate the level of destruction which occurred during this storm.

On Monday afternoon 10/29 as the winds started to increase to significant gusts, the volunteers who make up our department were called into action starting at 2pm and did not stop until late last week.  In all, the Wyckoff Volunteer Fire Department answered the call over 195 times for neighbors in need of assistance during the course of this storm event.  These calls consisted of routine alarms, downed trees, snapped power lines, trees on homes, utility emergencies, smoke in structures and gas emergencies.  
As the storm intensified and moved into town, it quickly became evident that the danger associated with this storm was far greater than anyone could have predicted.  In the height of the storm around 10pm Monday Evening, our department was out running from incident to incident while trying to protect our residents and ourselves.    While many people may have looked out their windows and witnessed a small portion of the storms wrath, those of us who were responding to emergencies during the storm got a firsthand look at the power and destructive force associated with Sandy.

As a result of the deteriorating road conditions and the inability of our members to get to the firehouses quickly, our members stepped up to the plate and established overnight standby crews in each firehouse to ensure that all calls for service were answered promptly, leaving their own families and homes so that they could answer a neighbors call for help.   

In the days following the storm, our department continued to answer calls for assistance while closely working with our township officials and other branches of emergency services to ensure that every resident in Wyckoff was safe.   Throughout the storm and days following the storm, the Mayor, members of the Township Committee and Township Employees spent countless hours working hard to get Wyckoff back on track, despite the lack of response from our utility companies.  The coordination and communication between all involved was second to none!

We would be remiss if we did not thank the families of all of our firefighters who support and allow our members to go out and serve this great community!  Without the tremendous support of our families, friends and neighbors, we could not continue to provide the Township with one of the best ALL VOLUNTEER fire departments in New Jersey!

If anyone would like to give back to our community and volunteer, please stop by any firehouse on Monday evenings after 7:30 p.m.

Michael P. Rose
Chief of Department 
Wyckoff Fire Department 

Lou Graglia
Assistant Chief of Department
Wyckoff Fire Department

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Joseph M. Gerace at Joseph.Gerace@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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