Without question the folks on Long Island, as well as the
many other areas impacted by the storm are suffering. We (and so many
of you) have fire-friends on Long Island, in FDNY and in
New Jersey who have literally lost everything. The stress is
beyond belief-and another storm is on the way. But we need to think.
And look out for others who may not be at their "peak" of thinking in
dealing with the devastation.
Yesterday, on Long Island, Steven Pena, a 23 year
old Freeport FD volunteer Firefighter, was arrested after he used an
electric vacuum in "an attempt to illegally siphon gasoline" from a
fire department vehicle -- in the process setting on fire that vehicle and his
own vehicle when the electrical current contacted the gas and its fumes. 2
Freeport volunteer Firefighters were injured attempting to put out the fire,
which destroyed both vehicles.
It happened at about 1340 hours yesterday at the Hose Company
No. 5 firehouse on Leonard Avenue. Mr. Pena took his 2000 Mitsubishi , parked
it near a fire department vehicle, and began trying to siphon the gas with the
vacuum cleaner. As a result of the incident, Pena was arrested and charged with
fourth-degree arson. He is scheduled for arraignment today.
In talking with Firefighters in those areas this morning,
the "loss" and "homelessness" is very real for so many
Firefighters, EMT's and Police Officers. One fire company in NJ advised that
the majority of their members are now homeless-have lost everything. It's
a real good time to keep an eye out for those who may not be at their best-and
who are now in an environment of possibly doing things out of somewhat
understandable desperation, physically, mentally etc-keep your
eyes and ears open.
Seriously. Let someone know if you see your brothers or
sisters not acting the way they normally do.
Or even if you just have a feeling. Let one of the bosses
know. It couldn't hurt.