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Harrison EMS Chief Remembers Irene One Year Later

HARRISON, N.Y. – While Hurricane Irene was wreaking havoc throughout Harrison as it knocked down trees, closed roadways, and shut down power for many, Harrison emergency medical service members, or EMS, were still available throughout the day.

“We as an agency and town, I believe, were very prepared,” said Chief Joseph Bilotto, recounting how his crew performed a year ago. “We had the EOC [Emergency Operations Center] up and operational and DPW crews had the roads cleared quickly for EMS, fire and police to respond to calls.”

Harrison EMS responded to 22 calls the day of Hurricane Irene.

“Mostly medical calls, not many traumas or injuries,” said Bilotto. “The days following the storm were much busier than the day of the storm.”

Even though it was a long day for the 17-year veteran and his team, Bilotto loves what he does.

“I am a paramedic and love what I do, and to be ready to go out and help someone to the best of my ability is an awesome feeling, that I may make a difference in someone’s life,” he said. “I belong to a federal disaster team; our major role is hurricanes, and we deploy as federal assets to disaster zones and assist EMS and hospitals in disaster zones. I am well-versed and share my knowledge with the EOC.”

The Harrison Daily Voice remembers Hurricane Irene one year later: http://harrison.dailyvoice.com/news/harrison-finds-solutions-year-after-hurricane-iren

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