New York City First Responders In Tennessee Tell Sandy Stories
by Chris Cannon
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Two New York City first responders came to Middle Tennessee this weekend to teach classes, just days after super storm Sandy hit their hometown.
Lt. Mark Gregory of the New York City Fire Department and Det. Randy Miller of the New York City Police Department are part of a group that travels the country teaching members of other departments.
They are in Murfreesboro and Springfield this weekend to share their experiences with technical rescues. But they are also sharing their stories about Sandy.
"It's a life changing, altering experience for most these people that everything they had when they woke up that morning is now gone," said Det. Miller.
"We really didn't have an idea as far as how serious it until within the last two days because we had no TV, no power, no way of finding out what was going on," said Lt. Gregory.
Both first responders worked their assigned shifts during the crisis, but were not asked to take on extra hours.
"They haven't altered our work schedule at all, so we're on our general days off that we would normally have," according to Lt. Gregory.
"There wasn't a recall back of all personnel in the city. Sometimes there is, sometimes there isn't," said Det. Miller.
They made their commitment to come to Tennessee long before Sandy was forecasted and wanted to keep their word.
"For us to bounce the plane tickets, for a lack of a better term, wouldn't have helped anybody, it wouldn't have helped us either because we were both scheduled to be off. The airports were lucky enough to be open, so we're happy to be here," Lt. Miller said.
But traveling to Tennessee was up in the air until late Thursday night. That is when they got word New York's airports would be open and they could make their flight.
The will teach a hands-on class a the Hutcherson Memorial Fire School on Saturday. They leave for New York City on Sunday and will be back on their regular work schedules on Monday.