Man chronicles firefighters' 67-hour shift digging out N.J. township
January 1st, 2011
08:37 PM ET

Man chronicles firefighters' 67-hour shift digging out N.J. township

The epic snowstorm that hit the Northeast last week was matched with an epic effort from first responders, including a group of firefighters in Neptune, New Jersey, population about 5,100.

The Hamilton Fire Company crew that worked the night after Christmas were all volunteers, said iReporter Bhak Tanta-Nanta, a firefighter who filmed a 67-hour shift that spanned three days.

That fire crew and other first responders had to deal with abandoned vehicles, waist-deep snow and residents upset that snow on their streets hadn't been plowed fast enough.

Among the difficulties Tanta-Nanta, a five-year volunteer, and his crew mates faced were:

- A house fire that the crew had to trek to from another street. Did firefighters have issues with the waterhose freezing? “We had issues getting to the house,” Tanta-Nanta said.
- Thirty inches of snow in some areas.
- Six hours of sleep over a three-day period.

Neighbors assisted first responders, digging an almost two-block-long trench so they could pull an injured elderly man from his home.

Firefighters had problems getting to the man’s home. “We could not reach the house but neighbors had been walking to the street [to flag down EMS crews], so they had already made a little path,” Tanta-Nanta said.

At one point, neighbors and children helped dig trenches with the firefighters, Tanta-Nanta said.

‘The whole neighborhood came together. It was really cool to see.”

When asked why he volunteers, Tanta-Nanta said, “I don’t know. We give back to the community. That’s what we do.”

soundoff (251 Responses)
  1. Greed is Good

    That salary.com you refer to has many variables and is highly unreliable. Every year the Boston globe makes salaries of public empoyees state and municipal public. There were over 2000 employees in the state of massachusetts making more than 100k not to mention the number making 80k or more. Not to mention the 17 percent raise across the board the city of Boston Fire fighters received recently. We do not get those type of salary increases in the public sector. Only Mayor's up for reelection forced to sign these pay increases. Mind you being bullied all the while by the strong arm tactics of the powerful unions. Save it pal

    January 2, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • grobari

      "Be sure your sins will find you out". Common sense should tell you that if you make neuogh noise, you will draw attention to yourself.

      April 22, 2012 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. Greed is Good

    I meant to say over 2000 firefighters in the state making more than 100k.

    January 2, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Natalie

    I think the haters on here should put on the 70 or so pounds of fire gear, wear it in the snow until it gets completely soaked, and then see how they feel about volunteers. From one volunteer FF to another thank you for your service and for the video!

    January 2, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. greed is good

    Save it Natalie. That is not a good debate response. Attack me all you want. The truth is the truth

    January 2, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Today's Tom Sawyer

    Fuke off, greed.

    January 2, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. mel

    Natalie, your response was right on target. For what it's worth, you are not the poster who cannot track an argument (or an article). The article is about volunteer firemen in a small community in New Jersey. Not paid employees in Massachusetts. Furthermore, if you take a look at GIG's other comments, you'll see all kinds of bogus claims.

    January 2, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. WakkaDoo

    Firefighterswife – 1

    Lisakate -0

    Ronbo: you ROCK

    January 2, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Greed is Good

    The truth stands and have yet to hear one person respond in an intellegent manner, that would serve to debate my key points that provided insight into the evolution of this conversation. Save it

    January 3, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jan

      To quote the article: When asked why he volunteers, Tanta-Nanta said, “I don’t know. We give back to the community. That’s what we do.”

      January 4, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. WakkaDoo

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think the original intent of this article was to evoke "debate".

    January 3, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. "trouble"

    Wow, Great video, good idea! People need to understand these FF are VOLUNTEERS, Don't blast those that give of their FREE TIME TO HELP YOU! Point your finger back at those that collect your tax check. While they were home snuggly in their beds, these guys were out in the blizzard doing what most would never dream of- Pushing the car of an unknown person in ice and snow for ZERO DOLLARS! Quit your Complaining here, bring it to your town meeting and leave these guys and gals alone!

    January 9, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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