New program connects firefighters in need with volunteers
During Superstorm Sandy, many firefighters responded to emergencies while their own homes were being ravaged. Now New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is responding to their needs with a program connecting firefighters who still need help rebuilding their homes with other firefighters who have time and skills to volunteer. Christie said volunteering is in firefighters' DNA .
"We now know that there's many of you whose lives are back to normal who might want to help a fellow firefighter whose life has not yet gotten back to normal," Christie said. "That's the spirit of their service, and that's the spirit of this state in the aftermath of this storm."
Al Lewandowski is the Fire Chief for Union Beach, New Jersey--a small beach-side community hit hard by Sandy. He and fire crews across the state are welcoming the new program from the State's Department of Community Affairs. Lewandowski said those in the department put the needs of others first during the storm.
"When it happened, we didn't even question: we did what we had to do. And then later on we went home and looked at our houses and realized how bad it was. So it's good that they're actually coming out to help us now."
He said this program shows the bond firefighters share--that they are all there to help each other.