Volunteer departments earn praise for Flight 3407 response
As the calls came over the radio, nine volunteer fire departments responded to the incident, not knowing what to expect when they arrived at the scene.
As the emergency response effort got underway, it soon became clear that a potential rescue mission was instead going to be one of recovery and damage control. The Clarence Center Fire Chief was first on the scene and quickly ordered all area equipment to assist. The tail of the plane, debris, and a raging inferno with flames up 40 feet tall made up the disaster scene. Evidence of the home that stood there minutes before was gone.
Despite the unfamiliar territory of the incident, firefighters relied on their training to manage the blaze. They acted quickly to protect the neighboring homes from succumbing to the growing flames.
Because of their heroic work, the fire was contained and the surrounding structures were spared. Those who were evacuated have since been able to return to their homes. The minimal collateral damage at the disaster site stands as a true testament to the volunteers who responded, and their work did not go unnoticed.
In a press conference held after the incident, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) described the first responders as "just amazing." He went on to praise them saying: "The fact that this very hot fire didn't spread is a tribute to the readiness of these volunteer fire departments that came on the scene. They risk their lives. They don't get paid. They do it because they care. They're the best of America, the best of Western New York."
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