Another Mutual Aid Team Deploys to New York
November 2, 2012
A volunteer multi-disciplinary team of emergency operations specialists left Maine today headed to the Emergency Operations Center in Brooklyn, New York. The team will provide much-needed relief to those serving survivors of Hurricane Sandy.
The group will report to the New York City Emergency Operations Center. The team includes personnel from the Maine Air and Army National Guard, the Departments of Public Safety and Transportation, and the Maine Emergency Management Agency as well as a local Fire Chief and private sector energy expert. Team members specialize in several different emergency support functions.
Governor Paul R. LePage approved New York’s Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) request for the team. Team members were notified Thursday night the mission was a “go” with orders to report Friday morning, prepared to deploy for up to two weeks and work in less-than-ideal conditions.
“Maine is fortunate to have not had suffered the damage our neighboring states have. We have the ability to help our fellow Americans in a time of need and we will do just that,” said Governor LePage. “Our teams are well-equipped to help and will provide much needed support during this recovery. I wish them safe travels as they head to New York.”
EMAC is a mutual aid agreement among states that enables them to share resources during disasters such as Hurricane Sandy. Under the National Response Framework, officials organize and provide assistance according to the emergency support functions required.
MEMA Director Robert McAleer briefed the team as they assembled Friday morning. “Be prepared to relieve people in a deteriorating situation who have been working 20-hour days with no end in sight. This calls for lots of patience as you integrate into a stressful and confusing environment.”
Bruce Fitzgerald, deputy director of MEMA and team leader for the deployment, explained that the Emergency Operations Center they will be going to is much larger than Maine’s. New York’s has room for more than 130 agency representatives, as compared to Maine’s, which has a normal capacity of 30.
Fitzgerald said, “I am excited to go. I know that the experience our diverse team brings will assist the citizens of New York in recovering as quickly as possible.”
Team members include:
Department of Public Safety, Maine State Police:
- Lt. Shawn Currie
- Lt. Bill Harwood
Department of Transportation:
- Brian Burne
- Donald Hutchins
Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management:
- Bruce Fitzgerald, MEMA
- Steven Mallory, MEMA
- 2Lt Michael Stansfield, Maine National Guard (Army)
- Ltc Brenda Jordan, Maine National Guard (Army)
- SFC John Knoblach, Maine National Guard (Army)
- Maj Jack Decker, Maine National Guard (Air)
- SSGT Nicole Mathews, Maine National Guard (Air)
- Darrel Fournier, Fire Chief, Town of Freeport
- Joseph Sukaskas, volunteer, energy expert)