The New Hyde Park Patch took many nominations under consideration but for the 2012 Person of the Year it seemed more appropriate to award a People of the Year Award for the selfless and heroic nature of our local first responders during Hurricane Sandy.
Particularly to note the New Hyde Park Fire Department and Garden City Park Fire Department but the New Hyde Park Village Department of Public Works for their own tireless effort during the recovery. During Hurricane Sandy the department was on standby and responded to many different storm related calls.
The important sacrifice these volunteers make can be reflected by the sacrifice others have made in the face of adversity. These personnel left their own homes during the storm, braved fierce weather and overcame obstacles during a time when many of us wouldn’t even dream of going outside.
The hazards of debris, loss of electricity, downed wires and downed trees were all part of dealing with the response to the storm in order to protect us, during a hurricane.
Sometimes attention on the fire department is in a negative light but we shouldn’t let it overshadow the tremendous effort put forth during one of the worst natural disasters to hit the Long Island area in recent history. Truly dedicated, these are volunteers and don’t get paid for what they do. Still they fulfill a role and give back the community 365 days a year, no matter the situation. For three days last year they were asked to step above and beyond and never wavered in the face of the storm.
They continued to provide support, not only locally but to Long Beach as well by sending some men and apparatus to the devastated south shore community. Also noteworthy were the DPW members who helped clean up the town after the hurricane. Despite an additional snowstorm that barraged us, they continued on, removing debris, plowing and helping us return to normal.
All the first responders can be thanked for a tremendous effort. So remember who those neighbors are and the sacrifice they gave. The hours that were put in by our firemen, ambulance workers and public works people were countless and something we enormously relied on. Their outstanding effort, particularly that of the New Hyde Park and Garden City Park Fire Departments are who deserves our People of the Year award.