West Pawlet Firefighters to aid NYC

A group of volunteer firefighters from West Pawlet will lend a hand to a small neighborhood in the southeastern corner of Queens that was hurt by Hurricane Sandy. Meadowmere Park, which comprises just four streets and six blocks, is surrounded by water on all sides and residents estimate that flooding has destroyed every home’s basement and first floor, according to a release.

The West Pawlet Fire Department did not arbitrarily choose this town as their volunteer destination. The Meadowmere Park Volunteer Fire Department purchased West Pawlet’s first fire truck, a fully restored 1950 Chevy, several years ago from a private citizen who had bought and restored it. Meadowmere found West Pawlet when the department was looking for old parts from the truck. Unfortunately, the truck was also destroyed by the storm.

In the past, Meadowmere fire has also hosted West Pawlet firefighters to tour the city and local firehouses.

West Pawlet Capt. Antonio Landon said his department wanted to give aid where it was definitely needed.

“We wanted to help the victims of Sandy, and we picked Meadowmere Park because we knew exactly where it was going,” Landon said. Last year, he said, the men went to Killington to work on damage from Tropical Storm Irene.

The Vermont fire department likens itself to Meadowmere because they are both close-knit, volunteer groups. Landon said his men are trying to fill a trailer with supplies. At this point, they’re planning on heading down to Queens at 3 a.m. on Black Friday, and returning that night; six firefighters will travel with a truck, trailer and car. The Meadowmere fire chief, who has been too busy to speak much with volunteers, told firefighters from West Pawlet he would have work for them to do if they came down.

The department is asking locals to donate cleaning supplies, batteries, hand tools, new toys, nonperishable food and water and gift cards — there is a Lowes in close proximity to the damaged area.

All donations will be delivered in enclosed trailers by West Pawlet firefighters to the Meadowmere Park Fire Department, from where they will be distributed to members of the local community.

There are six drop-offs at the West Pawlet fire house: Nov. 11 from noon to 2 p.m.; Nov. 13 from 7 to 10 p.m.; Nov. 16 during the annual turkey raffle; Nov. 17 from noon to 2 p.m.; Nov. 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Nov. 20 from 7 to10 p.m. There will also be a drop-off on Nov. 10 at the Pawlet fire house during the 44th annual game supper.

To schedule a drop-off or for questions call Tom Best at 802-287-1800.

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