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St. James Firefighters Dig Elderly Man Out from Blizzard

The firefighters made a path for the man, which took about an hour and a half to dig in the middle of the storm.

St. James firefighters had their hands full with calls of wires being down and more during the blizzard this past weekend, but possibly the biggest challenge they faced was trying to save an elderly man who attempted to walk home in the snow.

According to the St. James Fire District, a Head of the Harbor Police Department officer told the firefighters at their Route 25A firehouse that they received a call stating someone’s 78-year-old father was missing at roughly 8 p.m. 

Chief Edward Springer, Assistant Chief Liam Carroll and Chiefs Aide’s John Gonzales and Gordon Munson responded to the call and started their trek over to Rhododendron Drive, where Springer and Carroll’s vehicles became stuck in the snow. While they called for backup, Gonzales and Munson began to look for the elderly man’s car. 

Gonzales and Munson found the man with cane in hand in the road, who left his car that was stuck in the snow and began to walk, but was unable to walk any further. 

“He was on his way home from visiting his wife who was in the hospital at Stony Brook,” said Carroll in a phone interview.

Carrol said the man told the firefighters he was about to lie down in the snow because he was being overcome by the storm.

"We took turns shoveling and two of us would stand behind him and guide him through the path that we shoveled,” Carroll said.

The firefighters shoveled from Rhododendron Drive to his home on Oak Ridge Drive. After about an hour and a half of shoveling, ex Captain Ryan Davis, firefighter William Theobalt Jr. and District First Responder Brandon White arrived to take the man’s vitals. The man was deemed safe enough to stay at home for the night and not in need to be brought to a nearby hospital.

“It was during the height of the storm,” Carroll said. “Branches were coming down and stuff, it was windy, it was pretty scary.”

WOODY11780 February 16, 2013 at 09:03 PM
AGAIN....GREAT JOB BY THE ST. JAMES FIRE DEPT....BEST OF THE BEST.....THANK YOU !!!....SEMPER FIDELIS GORDON !!
Frank Marotta February 16, 2013 at 09:25 PM
Fine work done by a great fire department.
Edward Springer February 16, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Very proud of my son Chief Springer and all the other chiefs and firefighters a great group of men and woman and dedicated individuals to our community of St. James. Thank you for the effort and dedication. Edward Springer Sr.
Marge Baldwin February 17, 2013 at 03:23 AM
Proud of these men, great story!
duckduckgoose February 19, 2013 at 05:49 AM
Thank you for saving this man's life. And thank you to all the volunteer firefighters who worked for our communities not only over this difficult winter but every day. Much appreciated!

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