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Local responders assisting Superstorm Sandy victims

November 7, 2012
By PHILIP A. HOLMES pholmes@sungazette.com , Williamsport Sun-Gazette

A strike team of medical emergency responders, a local New Jersey native and a State College-based company all are helping with the relief effort of Superstorm Sandy.

Four members from Susquehanna Health's Susquehanna Regional Emergency Medical Services division responded Friday to Ocean County, N.J., as part of the state's Ambulance Strike Team.

Using a mobile intensive care unit (an ambulance), the members are assisting in search and rescue of victims, body recovery, shelter care and emergency responses to affected communities.

Article Photos

Four Susquehanna Health
employees, along with a mobile intensive care unit, are part of a state strike force that is in New Jersey this week
providing emergency relief assistance in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. From left are Keith O’Neal, Mike Seiler, Kristen Hunter and Scott Hanner.

PHOTO PROVIDED

The Susquehanna Health employees who responded are paramedics Mike Seiler and Kristen Hunter along with emergency medical technicians Keith O'Neal and Scott Hanner. The foursome are expected to be there until Friday.

Muncy area resident and New Jersey native Jackie Digiovanni left this morning with a van loaded with cases of water, baby diapers, baby formula, canned goods, papers products and 1,000 pounds of dog and cat food.

She is making two stops in New Jersey. She will first drop off all the pet food at a humane shelter near Middletown and then head north to the shore community of Union Beach, where she will unload her remaining donations at a organized drop-off site.

Fact Box

Local Red Cross collecting

items for storm victims

The local chapter of the American Red Cross is collecting donations of much-needed supplies that will go directly to Superstorm Sandy victims in Toms River, N.J., where more than 6,000 residents are living in make-shift shelters.

The donation drive will be held at the local chapter, 320 E. Third St., from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Needed items include: baby formula and bottles, diapers, warm clothes, games and toys (please no battery or electronic units), crayons, coloring books and Halloween candy.

The elderly need Depends, denture care products, prune juice.

Warm clothing is needed: coats, hats, scarves, gloves and socks, underwear, sweatshirts and sweatpants, slippers and sleeping bags.

Cleaning supplies are in demand: garbage bags, hand sanitizers, baby wipes, paper towels, batteries of all sizes and Woolite.

For more information, contact local organizer Lara Breon at lara.breon@gmail.com or calling 323-3639.

All the items she is taking were donated this week by members of the local community,Digiovanni, a member of the Williamsport Junior League, said. Many of the donations came from the Dave Conklin family, of Montoursville, she said.

Sandy has had a major impact in her life, extensively damaging or destroying homes of family members and numerous friends. This will be her fourth trip to area since the storm.

"It's very sad," she said.

Best Line Equipment, headquartered in State College, has deployed several truck loads of equipment to New York and New Jersey to assist with emergency relief efforts.

Working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Best Line delivered 50 portable power light towers to Long Island to provide temporary lighting at polling stations. The company also delivered 40 trailer-mounted heating units to relief compounds in Newark, N.J. The units will provide heat for housing units, medical service sites as well as at food distribution centers?

The company also provided emergency pumps to remove flooded waters from buildings at New York University.

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