10 The Work Force January 2015 From Long Island to Buffalo, CSEA “It was a very rewarding experience that offered us the chance to give back to other public workers facing a crisis, especially in light of what they did for us after Hurricane Sandy.” When a historic storm hit Western New York in November, CSEA members from across the state quickly came to help. Equipment and workers traveled to Buffalo and surrounding areas that were buried in snow. Many of those responding from outside the Buffalo area said they felt an obligation to help out after their regions had been hit by devastating storms in recent years, and help came to them from across the state. “It was a very rewarding experience that offered us the chance to give back to other public workers facing a crisis, especially in light of what they did for us after Hurricane Sandy,” said City of Long Beach Unit member Tommy Canner. It was their way of repaying their CSEA brothers and sisters on the other end of the state for coming to their aid after Hurricane Sandy devastated hundreds of homes, businesses and even the city’s sewage treatment plant in October 2012. Municipalities across the state, including the Western Region, sent workers and equipment to Long Beach and other communities hit hard by Sandy to help relieve the first responders. City of Long Beach workers never forgot their union brothers’ and sisters’ generosity and solidarity. They quickly volunteered to help provide relief upstate when Long Beach’s city manager asked for workers to make the trip. About a dozen workers spent nearly five days helping with efforts that included clearing roads, clearing storm drains and shoveling sidewalks in local neighborhoods. Many other CSEA members from Nassau County and many other municipalities were also part of the help caravan traveling to western New York. Ken Mazurek and Bernie Maryniewski clear a road in Depew. Road crews in Western New York crews from across the state to help with snow removal and cleanup after a major snowstorm.They weren’t alone. Returning favors part of the mission It took only 48 hours for the Montgomery County Department of Public Works to get the call for help, recruit volunteers and get a caravan of equipment on the road to Buffalo for the recent snow emergency. Fourteen Montgomery County Department of Public Works Unit members answered the call and cleared their schedule to pitch in with cleanup efforts. The crew went right to work after the 250-mile drive, putting in 18- hour shifts for three days straight. The crew met-up with exhausted residents who were very happy to see them in the South Buffalo neighborhood to which they were assigned, said unit members Rob Van Avery. “Some people had been stuck in their home for five days,” Van Avery said. “We saw people using sleds to bring groceries in.” “We got a lot of thumbs up,” said co-worker David Bouchard. “One lady brought me a bottle of water.” Montgomery County Local President Eddie Russo, also the DPW Unit president, said members were quick to offer help as the county had been on the receiving end after many storms, especially the post- Irene flooding that did major damage in the Capital Region. “I am really proud of our members and how they stepped up to the plate,” said Russo. Albany County, Rensselaer County and state Department of Transportation crews from the Capital Region also made the trip.
To see the actual publication please follow the link above