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 a Dork

    Pipe down, Gordon. You contribute nothing!

    January 1, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Greed is Great

    Alright all you firefighter lovers out there goodnight! Go hug your chubby, lazy, overpaid firefighter.

    January 1, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. j rob

    It took me 7 years to get E-6 never went for the next level knew I was getting out

    January 1, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. tomcat

    @Engr1. He failed the test or washed out due to anger issues. lmao

    January 1, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. j rob

    I'm watching the fiesta bowl bored to tears. As a fan of a big ten school in embarrassed my conferance went 0-5 in bowl games today.. Thought I'd change the subject

    January 1, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. big AL

    Hey Greed, why don't you hug your BCD. That's Bad Conduct Discharge you PX hero!

    January 1, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      ahahahahha!! ^5

      January 2, 2011 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. tomcat

    well said Big Al

    January 1, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. j rob

    I'm an Ohio state fan hopefully my buckeyes can redeem the big ten just a little bit. But it might take more to redeem the damage done to the conferance today with all the blow out losses O-H-I-O

    January 1, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. big AL

    Thanks tomcat!

    January 1, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tauna

    I find it truly sad that people attack others based on their occupation. Me, Who, and Greed- I feel sorry for your inability to see the good these people have done. There are too few people who will help others in their time of need. As for the meaning of a hero, how dare you try to define what a hero should be? I have heroes who never signed up for the military or risked their life in a fire. Most of all, I say shame on you for demeaning ANYONE who helps another. I hope you all are proud of yourselves for trying to cut down others. I have nothing but pity for you.

    January 1, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. j rob

    If he was a marine that would be NX hero there guy.. If you want to insult someone do it right

    January 1, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. levi

    It's awesome to finally see a story that shines a light on just how hard our country's EMS and first responds work. Along with how very rough and thankless the job can be.

    In point this department having to deal with residence complaining that their street wasn't being plowed fast enough. Almost no one notices the large amount of customer service that the men and women of EMS and first responds have to do while on shift.

    Thank you for writing this story. Hope to see more like it.

    January 1, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Greed is Great

    I don't even know what that means Big Al. You shouldn't be so down on the PX after all that's when you met Mrs Big Al isn't it? That's what happens when you go slumming 😉

    January 1, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. big AL

    J rob we think they get the point. I was a Army Grunt trained by a former Marine and I was they only one that had respect for all branches. But when someone lies or inflates his record needs to be called out whether NX or PX.

    January 1, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Greed is Great

    I helped a couple of Iraqi's see the light. Does that count? 🙂

    January 1, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |

      are you an electrician? my bathroom light fixture keeps blowing out light bulbs what do you think the problem is?

      January 1, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      LOL Ruff ... he'll just throw water on it.

      January 2, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
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