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. Bgreed is good

    AJ wow good one I mispelled firefighter on my black berry. Again while you were playing with your limp noodle firehose I was in Iraq (3tours) and Afghansitan (1tour) that's four years of my life. Sacrifice is what you should do to your moronic existence. See I know what sacrifice is!

    January 1, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • A J

      Greed ... you make me laugh! Blackberry is a mobile device. Black berry is a fruit. You are typing this on fruit? Genius! For being so self-rightous you are doing a poor job of defending your credentials. Your lame attempt at humor (limp noodle firehose) are surpassed only by your skewed concept of reality and painfully embarrassing social skills. I have friends with so many degrees and letters behind their name it puts your MBA in finger painting to shame. I work with firefighters who still serve actively in the military (all branches), and have yet to find anyone who is as detached from what true sacrifice is as you are. Take off those stilettos and walk a mile in a real man's shoes. I'll give you the last word. I'll be too busy protecting your sorry butt to respond.

      January 1, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      @Greed is good. I won't mince words , too bad you didn't give your life for OUR Country. I can't believe sombody as arrogant as you ever helped anybody, except youself. VOLUNTEERSs saved my life Personally. That was 20 years ago and to this day my Family and I RESPECT and SUPPORT them. YOU, I doubt have ever been a HERO or you wouldn't talk out your butt like you do. You have no class and no honor. How does THAT feel, mr Smarty Pants. Keep your Venom to youself, because some of us will call you on it.

      January 1, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tomcat

    As a ret ff, you folks talking bs about the FD. When you need help from Fire, EMS orPD...dont call us. Swing your hose around, do cpr, as we are too stupid and the vollys are overpaid.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rich

    I can't believe there are actually people here basically saying "Who cares if they're not being paid and worked almost 70 hours out of the goodness of their heart. They should be lucky we even let them fight fires." I bet these people are truly a joy to have in one's life. I feel sorry for whatever family they may have.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. big AL

    @ "ME and Greed is Good" get off your soap box and get a reality check. It's one thing to be an "arm chair quarterback and It's a whole lot different when your the quarterback ON the field!!

    January 1, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bgreed is good

    A firefighter winked at my girlfriend. Its not a hard job. The supply of people willing and able to do firefighting is much greater than the demand therefore the price our town and cities should pay does not reflect this simple example of a free mkt society, but instead our cities pay over 100k a year in some instances or rather a lot of instances across america. The private business sector does not have the same quality of life / high pay levels/cushy beny's/job security. We earn for what we produce. Municipality employees have become spoiled. Volunteers aside. Let the invisible hand of the economy guide itself and get rid of municipal unions they are wrecking American cities

    January 1, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      My, my, Greed. I surely would like a link to where you got your statistics from. God bless the GOOD men and women of this country who do what they can to make life better for the rest of us, firemen, cops and military. You are in my prayers each day.

      January 2, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      "The median expected salary for a typical Fire Fighter in the United States is $41,143." Source, which indicates that firefighters making over $60K a year represent 10% of the whole. Next time, speak from the proper orifice.

      January 2, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bgreed is good

    AJ I believe it should of read an educated versus A educated in your last. I was a Corporal in the Marines. Wish I was making it up, but that last stretch in. The sandbox had time in Jordan living in Abdoun Circle, so I guess it was 2.5 tours in Iraq. Sorry guy

    January 1, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. nate

    Greed I would be curious to know where you get your numbers that you claim you have about supply/demand. As well as the pay scale numbers. The numbers that you might want to focus on lie in the numerous cuts of police and fire as well as the number of current cities that are extremely understaffed already. Those are the numbers that have led to thee high supply low demand

    January 1, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bgreed is good

    Oh AJ what would I have to remember while doing your job fire equals hot. Water equals wet. Put water on fire. Sit down on lawn chair in front of fire dept for 90 percent of time, smile kindly at old ladies who got scared or there cat was caught in a tree. Fight fires 1percent. You are a a number a contingency AJ.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      "there cat"?? More of your MBA education?

      January 2, 2011 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  9. MissAnthrope

    And you, greed, are an embarassment to Harvard!

    January 1, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bgreed is good

    Understaffed fire departments haha that's funny. You know the towns and cities maintain high staffing levels due to the powerful insurance lobbyist. Its all about reducing there risk for bigger profits, that's what I was implying when I called you a rainy day fund.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bgreed is good

    An embarrasment to Harvard but not the Marines? Ill take it. Harvard only takes others ideas and adopts them as their own anyway!

    January 1, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. tomcat

    @me.You said your dad was a Chief? Tell or show him what you posted. Why do you think you see so many FF, EMS and PD when a fellow Brother or Sister dies? We are a family that spends more time together than our own. Do we think we are heroes? NO. We do this because its what we do. On a related subject. Obama called U Conn when they won all those games. Same with Philly, good job giving Vick a second chance. Two Fire Fighters die in his city of Chicago and cant take the time to call the families? This is the tenth anniversary of 9 11. Whats it going to take for the US to unify again? Everyone was a proud flag waving American. Now......look around. Sad and pathetic. Ask not what can your country do for you, but what can you do for your country!

    January 1, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. nate

    Wow greed it's sad how truly uneducated you have proven yourself to be on this matter. I will let you continue to talk because it has become apparent that your self sufficient in proving just how idiotic your ideals are on the topic.

    January 1, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. veda kavi

    Great effort

    January 1, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. A volunteer from Virginia

    Good work! For those of you who said you could train a monkey to do it, maybe you should do it too! Applications are free!! So are the classes, most of the time! Go ahead and sign up, hope you pass, since monkeys do it...

    January 1, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
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