This is an open letter to the Bayport community from Bayport Fire Department Chief Bob Fleming:
As the weather centers had forecasted, the mega storm “Sandy” slammed into the East Coast. With much uncertainty as to the exact track of the storm, and exactly what we were to expect, the members of the Bayport Fire Department stood ready and prepared for the worst but hoping for the best.
As the mega storm rapidly approached and the wind gusts continued to increase, the call was made by to place all available members on stand-by at the firehouse.
As past events have taught us, down trees, down wires and extremely hazardous conditions place a real threat to the firefighters should they need to respond to the firehouse for an emergency. For over 24 hours more than 30 men from our community stood ready and responded to more than 60 calls for help. At the height of the storm only one engine crew or one Chief Officer was sent out to assess the situation due to the real threat of personal injury.
As the storm passed and the devastation of Long Island and our quiet community of Bayport came to view, the members of the Bayport Fire Department remained on high alert and continue to respond to many post storm emergencies.
Probably the most serious time for the residents is after a storm. As predicted, we have seen many types of emergencies including carbon monoxide emergencies, a host of electrical issues, natural and propane gas emergencies, environmental issues from leaking oil tanks from homes, boats and cars and the threat for people’s homes to catch fire when the electric is turned back on or when candles and other heating and lighting devices are used.
We would like to remind all of our residents of some very important tips:
It is extremely important to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working and fully operational. If you did not change your batteries before the storm we suggest doing it as soon as you can. New batteries will insure your detectors have little or no chance of failing and will remain operational for the duration of the storm.
In addition, if you have hard wired detectors make sure you are aware these units also have a battery as a backup in case the power goes out--it is there some place! Also there is a date on the back of the detector of when the unit was manufactured; it is recommended to replace the unit every five years unless otherwise stated in the instructions.
Residents are reminded that if you are without power you may want to secure the main circuit breaker to your house or unplug all of your appliances; when the power kicks back on there may be a power surge due to some kind of storm damage to your house. This power surge could cause the power to back feed into the house causing something to short circuit and catch fire.
If at any time you see or smell smoke or an electrical odor, please do not hesitate to call the Bayport Fire Department Emergency's number 472-4411.
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If you are one of those people that pre-plan for storms or were lucky enough to acquire a generator, please use extreme caution when they are in use.
Throughout the county there have been numerous cases of carbon monoxide poisoning. In the early hours following the storm, the Bayport F.D. responded to a house where the generator was running and the exhaust was facing the house with an open window.
The wife came home to the sound of a beeping detector as the husband and their child were sleeping. As she entered the house the C.O. detector was going off and the display was showing high readings. Had the wife not come home that morning the generator would have continued to pump deadly carbon monoxide into the house causing serious illness or even worse; death. Prolong exposure at low levels or short term exposure at high levels may prove fatal.
Please make sure to keep your generators at least 10 feet away from the house and away from any opening such as a door or basement window and make sure the wind does not blow the exhaust into the house.
As stated before, the Bayport firefighters are ready to respond should you need help. For the residents of Bayport, if you have a question that is NOT AN EMERGENCY, please call 472-0641.
For ALL EMERGENCIES call 472-4411. Our firehouse is staffed 24 hours a day with an emergency dispatcher to answer your calls. We hope the residents of Bayport as well as the entire Island remain safe!
The Chiefs, Officers and members of the Bayport Fire Department