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Fires, Aid to Flooded Bergen Towns Among TVAC Storm Calls

Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance Corps members responded to 24 potentially life-threatening emergencies through Superstorm Sandy.

Dozens of potentially life-threatening emergencies and aid to flood-ravaged Bergen County towns were among the scores of calls Teaneck’s Volunteer Ambulance Corps handled starting when Sandy first hit the region.

Responders handled 133 calls from Oct. 28 to Nov. 4, in what the agency said was 37 more than normal, according to TVAC. Twenty-four were for possibly life-threatening emergencies. Volunteers already on duty immediately answered 127 of the calls, with off-duty members paged to handle the rest.

Staffing had been quadrupled ahead of the massive storm, allowing four ambulances to be manned by at least three emergency medical technicians, said TVAC Vice President Larry J. Robertson. In total, 80 volunteers helped staff the response.

When an emergency generator at the Glenpointe complex failed, TVAC members carried guests who couldn’t walk down flights of stairs using stair chairs, he said. Firefighters and police also responded when the entire hotel was plunged into darkness.

Simultaneous emergency calls were common through the storm and its aftermath, according to Robertson.  

Volunteers were on the scene of two fires in Teaneck reported minutes apart in the days after the storm. Officials have said a total of three fires were reported that day, adding to the non-stop response of local emergency crews.

The township’s emergency medical volunteers were also called on to aid Moonachie and Little Ferry residents forced to flee rising floodwaters, Robertson said. In Ridgefield Park, TVAC helped treat patients when an apartment building filled with carbon monoxide.

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