Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"Unable to respond"

As Hurricane Sandy hit New York City, I found myself listening to the FDNY scanners.

It was heartbreaking.

Yes, because of the number of calls, the number of rescues needed.

Inifintely moreso because of the number of times the FD had to tell the dispatcher "unable to respond".


In the relatively short (less than 30 min) I listened to the scanner, I heard it no less than 10 times. Sometimes with explanation. But mostly, no explanation needed.

Almost always, it was the high water. One battalian chief gave the best, albeit necessarily brief, explanation:

Unable to respond. 5 - 6 feet of water on all routes to that location. All boats already deployed. Engines unable to pass thru high water. Unable to respond.

Unable to respond.

I eventually had to stop listening, because my chest was hurting. After all, this is heartbreaking.

Someone needs help. And rescuers are literally "unable to respond."

Not that they don't want to. Not that they don't even have manpower. But the forces of nature kept them from physically being able to respond to calls for help.


For the rescue workers, called to serve, called to help, every fiber of their being drawing to respond to calls.

For those needing assistance, who called for help, confident that the strength of the FDNY would be able to save them, only to be left without.

For the dispatchers, who had the unseemly job of relaying the message from FD to victim.

Heartbreaking. For everyone.


Prayers to all involved. To everyone directly affected by the storm, to all first responders & rescue personnel, to all utility workers, to all volunteers - I pray for your safety, and your quick return home.

Thanks for checking in.


'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

The power and breadth of this storm has had me in awe. We humans are small in comparison and yet we can do big things. It's hard to admit that it's not always everything we want to do, but for those in the rescue field its even more heartbreaking. Thanks for sharing your unique personal experience.

Megan said...

How tragically depressing. I hope everyone is doing okay.

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