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Paramedics return home after helping out with Hurricane Irene emergency response

Capital City Ambulance

Six days ago when four units took off from Capital City Ambulance, Scott Bernardini was along for the journey. (WRDW-TV / Sept. 1, 2011)

News 12 This Morning / Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Paramedics from North Augusta's Capital City Ambulance are back home after helping with Hurricane Irene cleanup efforts in New York.

News 12 was there as they took off for their journey last Friday.

Six days ago when four units took off from Capital City Ambulance, Scott Bernardini was along for the journey.

"Very exhausting. It was a long four days," Bernardini said.

Bernardini has never experienced a hurricane before Irene. This time he volunteered to go into the storm and help people along Irene's path.

"I just liked the job. I like to help people. Just doing something you've never done before," Bernardini said.

After a 16-hour drive, his team provided more man power in New York.

"Our first assignment, we went to an air base where they had everyone staged," he said. "We were a back-up unit in case they were getting overloaded on 911 calls."

As he rode along with the New York City Fire Department, he took pictures and video of the damage Irene caused.

"The weather was a lot of wind, a lot of rain, but it was nowhere near what they anticipated. Afterwards, there was a lot of flooding, trees down and power lines down," Bernardini said.

He said the the crews on standby and all the preparation paid off.

"If you weren't prepared, you are probably gonna get something and people will complain about it anyway," Bernardini said. "I don't think they over-prepared or overreacted. They did what the system was designed to do."

After day three, he and the rest of the team were sent back sooner than expected.

"I think the interesting thing for New York is they are the ones that go out and help everyone, and finally people from the U.S came and helped them," he said. "That was the best part."

Bernardini says if another hurricane hits, he wants to volunteer again.


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