The following letter—from Seaside Heights Volunteer Fire Department Battalion Chief Lou Nardone—was read at the Dec. 11 Town Council meeting by Berit Ollestad, one of the organizers for the Sandy Relief Effort at the Morristown Fire Department:
Dear Morristown Residents,
As you already know, our department has taken a huge hit from Hurricane Sandy. Our town has been transformed into an area filled with military, electrical and utility companies. lnstead of the resort town that we once knew, it is now a work zone that is currently, after a month, preparing to electrify and return natural gas service. Before, during and after Sandy we maintained 100 percent fire and life protection to our community. As our sign states, we never abandoned ship. The morning after, we continued efforts to make rescues for the ones that thought it was going to be a short storm.
Nobody was prepared for the devastation that we experienced. Ninety percent of our departments' membership are either displaced or lost almost everything except what they had with them at the firehouse the night the storm hit. lt is the continued efforts of our surrounding brothers and sisters that allow us to keep helping our citizens.
I want to personally thank the members of the Morristown Fire Department and the generous people of Morristown and surrounding areas for providing us with the supplies that we desperately need. The amazing effort made by you reminds us everyday why we do it.
I am familiar with the Morristown area so I know it's a long way to Seaside Heights. lt reinforces the fact that the brotherhood has no limits. We have months of clean up ahead and our fire coverage has grown into a regional response for the whole barrier island making it more of a daily challenge. While this is not over for us by far, we will overcome. From our department to yours, thank you.