Pittsburgh firefighters repair Florida firefighter homes


A team of local firefighters are in Florida on a mission to help their comrades in need. Pittsburgh Fire Bureau Capt. John Gardell said many Florida firefighters likely haven’t stopped working since the impact of Hurricane Ian last week. Departments in William County, Virginia to specifically respond to damaged homes of fellow firefighters. “Our primary focus is to work on the homes of firefighters who have been mandated to stay on duty for long hours,” Gardell said. talk days. He said some firefighters have not been home since Hurricane Ian hit last week. .The death toll from the storm rose to at least 87 on Sunday. The majority of deaths have been reported in Charlotte County, where Ian made landfall. Sunday evening, 1.3 million people were without electricity. Florida Power and Light said it could be months before all services are restored. Gardell and his team distribute drinking water, plug windows, cover damaged roofs with tarps and check on families of firefighters. “Make sure they have fuel for their generators. There is absolutely no power in these regions, and they do not expect it to return. They are told a month to four months, if you can even consider that,” Gardell said. Gardell said leaving Pittsburgh for a minimum week was an easy choice, knowing that many of his fellow firefighters in Florida are working homeless to return to “I know they would do that for me too,” Gardell said. “Knowing that my brothers are coming to help me, it will be very easy for us to get down here.” to help.

A team of local firefighters are in Florida on a mission to help their comrades in need.

Pittsburgh Fire Bureau Capt. John Gardell said many Florida firefighters likely haven’t stopped working since the impact of Hurricane Ian last week.

Gardell is working with the International Association of Firefighters Disaster Relief Team, alongside firefighters from the departments of Pittsburgh, Bethlehem, Altoona and Prince William County, Virginia to respond specifically to damaged homes in its fellow firefighters.

“Our primary focus is to work on the homes of firefighters who have been mandated to stay on duty for long hours,” Gardell said.

By “long hours” he means days. He said some firefighters have not been home since Hurricane Ian hit last week.

“I went to Fort Myers Beach today to check out a member’s house, and it was absolutely the most devastating scene I’ve ever seen,” Gardell said.

The death toll from the storm rose to at least 87 on Sunday. The majority of deaths have been reported in Charlotte County, where Ian made landfall.

Sunday evening, 1.3 million people were without electricity. Florida Power and Light said it could be months before all services are restored.

Gardell and his team distribute drinking water, plug windows, cover damaged roofs with tarps and check on families of firefighters.

“Make sure they have fuel for their generators. There is absolutely no power in these regions, and they do not expect it to return. They are told a month to four months, if you can even consider that,” Gardell said.

Gardell said leaving Pittsburgh for a minimum week was an easy choice, knowing that many of his fellow firefighters in Florida are working with no home to return to.

“I know they would do it for me too,” Gardell said. “Knowing that my brothers will come up and help me, make it very easy for us to get down here.”

Gardell said he thanks Pittsburgh Fire Department Local #1 and the Pittsburgh Fire Bureau for giving them the time to travel to Florida to help.


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