Maine's Department of the Year!
Neighbors Helping Neighbors Since 1981
York County's First Heart Safe Community!
Chief Samantha J. Cole
The entire region has been hit hard by the severe Ice Storm of 2008. The following are updates as they are posted to rescue department members:
The Lebanon Rescue Department would like to thank all the rescue members who assisted with the major operations during the ice storm. The following is a summary of tasks the rescue members completed.
Crews started responding to motor vehicle accidents and cars off the road due to the icy road conditions around 4pm on Thursday.
Crews started going door to door on Friday morning around 7am due to no power and the report that power would be out for an extended period of time. The rescue developed a flier to be put at every house they checked advising them of the shelter that would be opening in Sanford and rescue crews started to transport residents to the shelter on Friday. Crews focused on patients that were known in the community with medical conditions. They were able to get information from patient run sheets to compile a list of residents to check on. Lebanon Rescue has also run a "Caring Hands" program since 2002. Rescue members have a list of residents that they check on during storms and make sure they are ok. During this storm, several residents have asked how to join the program. They can contact Chief Samantha Cole at (207) 608-5614 to join so we can check on them during future storms.
Crews went door to door on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
In total, about 703 residences were checked. When we found a patient who wanted to stay behind and had medical issues, we went back several times to those patients during the power outage to check their well beings. So, we visited some houses 4 or 5 times during the storm, so the 703 number is actually much smaller than the number of well-beings completed. Each house was only recorded once, even if it was visited several times.
Calls started to come in for patients running out of oxygen on Friday afternoon. Crews worked throughout the storm helping residents on home oxygen get deliveries scheduled or get to a family members residence or the shelter so they could plug in their oxygen machine.
Also on Friday, the rescue department started to get several calls from out of state family members to check on residents in town. Crews checked on the residents and allowed them to use the rescue cell phones to contact their family members out of state since they had no phones or power.
Rescue crews helped deliver bottled water to residents who requested it. Rescue crews also helped residents by delivering buckets of water for other reasons like flushing toilets. Rescue crews also helped install replacement batteries in carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors. There were several houses running alternative heating sources with dead batteries in their carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors. Rescue crews were also able to obtain 5-gallon gas cans to lend to residents who needed to fill up generators. The Lebanon Rescue Department would like to express gratitude to Welch’s Hardware on Route 202 for opening up during the middle of the night to help with supplies during the middle of the storm when they had no power.
During most of the storm, rescue members were at the station for anyone that needed to report an emergency or request assistance.
Rescue members also drove around neighborhoods slowly with their red lights on and several residents and motorists flagged them down for assistance, either finding out an update or requesting supplies.
We also staged rescue vehicles at various locations with their lights on and we had dozens of cars stop to ask for updates or assistance. This proved to be very valuable in gathering information on where to check on residents.
On Sunday, a new link was added to our website to update residents on conditions and operations in Lebanon. People could go to www.lebanonrescue.com and click on the "ICE STORM 2008" and it will direct them to the site. We also added a section where people can send a request for assistance or well being checks directly from the Internet. We did receive one request from an out of state person who was trying to reach a family member who had no phones. We were able to respond and check on the person and then let them use our cell phone to speak with their son out of state. We understand most citizens did not have power, but out of state family members could access the updates and send requests, so we thought it was important to make that service possible.
Also on Sunday, rescue crews re-focused on the three major trailer parks (Colonial Mobile Home Park, Evergreen Mobile Home Park and Pitman Mobile Home Park). Rescue volunteers went door to door checking on the residents. Over 150 houses were checked by several teams of rescue volunteers between 9am and 2pm during this focused search. We also handed out an updated informational flyer with the shelter information for residents as well as how to reach the rescue for assistance. We have designated (207) 608-5615 as the command phone for this operation.
Throughout the storm, 21 rescue members assisted with the operations. Some worked 16-hour shifts on several days helping out.
“We understood that every rescue member that was out helping their neighbors in need was also experiencing power outages and other problems at their own houses. These rescue members did an outstanding job and showed great compassion for there neighbors who needed help. I am extremely proud of their hard work and dedication. Some worked for 12-16 hour shifts and then went to work at their full time jobs. You could not ask for a better group of volunteers in our community.” Chief Samantha Cole added.
Rescue crews doing door to door well being checks found an elderly citizen who had run out of heat and was there alone. He had been pushing his lifeline alarm to get help, but with no power, he did not reach anyone. Rescue crews were able to carry in his wood for him and notify family members that he may need further assistance.
Rescue crews while re-checking a residence of a patient on Monday evening with known medical problems found that he had fallen out of his wheelchair and was injured. That was the importance of rechecking some residences that we knew had medical problems or was home alone.
One of the biggest things that seemed to help residents was allowing them to utilize the rescue’s cellular phones. They were able to reach family members to let them know they were ok. This proved to be a big success.
Another thing that the rescue members found was towards the end of the storm when the power had been out for several days, several residents were feeling down and frustrated with the storm. Crews were able to provide them with contacts to speak with professionals who could help them.
During one house check, the couple asked for some hot coffee if we had any. The rescue member drove to a nearby store that was open and on generator and got them coffee. Rescue crews also helped deliver warm meals to some families who did not want to leave their houses due to temporary heating devices.
Rescue crews were also able to help with flashlights temporarily for residents that did not have one.
Utility crews stopped by the station in between calls to warm up or just take a break for a minute and talk with the rescue crews.
Schools reopened on Tuesday. Rescue crews that were parked in other areas of the town focused on the areas of the school while buses and parents brought their kids to school, in case anyone needed to report anything.
One of the large trailer parks, Colonial Mobile Home Park, got their power back Monday afternoon, but did not have water. Rescue crews helped deliver water to residents who requested it in the park. Water was restored on Tuesday in the park.
Rescue crews were called to assist the Lebanon Animal Control Officer with some horses that did not have food for a while on Monday night around 9:30pm. Rescue crews were able to locate hay to assist the ACO and other rescue crews were able to pick up and deliver the hay for the ACO to the scene.
The residents have been so appreciative of the work the rescue members were doing. Several have commented on how nice it is to see the members checking the well being of all the residents. A very grateful resident sent an email to the Selectmen's Office thanking the rescue members for checking on everyone.
“The rescue members all came back and told me of the wonderful residents they had met. Some who had generators offered to house others with no power. Other residents who got power back offered to feed or house other neighbors who were still without power. The rescue members also had people offer them food while they were out checking on people. It truly is heartwarming to see the community come together.” Chief Samantha Cole added.
"We have had residents stop the rescue members and offer them some warm food or drinks since they had been out since Thursday night. The community has been very appreciative of the rescue members going door to door to see if they are ok. That’s the nice part of being in a small town, everyone watches out for each other." Rescue Chief Samantha Cole added.
Rescue crews stayed out until 7pm on Wednesday, December 17th when we received word that power had been restored to all of Lebanon.
We are still going through all the calls for service and paperwork to finalize manpower hours used total calls.
Town officials gathered with Selectmen on Wednesday to discuss the storm. The selectmen were very appreciative of all the hard work the rescue members and other town departments did.
The Lebanon Rescue Department would like to thank the Sanford Shelter where residents were brought. They provided a warm place, great food and friendly people to the shelter residents. We would like to thank Central Maine Power and their contracted helpers for an excellent job. Rescue crews spoke with CMP throughout the storm and they did a tremendous job. We would also like to thank the Lebanon Road Crews, Lebanon EMA, Lebanon Fire Department, York County EMA, Train’s Quick Stop Store on Route 202, Fairpoint, Metrocast, York County Sheriff’s Department and the Maine Public Safety Communications Center that dispatches us.
We again would like to especially thank Welch’s Hardware on Route 202 for always supporting the Rescue Department and opening up during the middle of the storm with no power and provided us with the equipment we needed.
Special thanks to all the volunteers with the Lebanon Rescue Department again for providing exceptional service throughout the year but more importantly during this storm where all of Lebanon was affected. The rescue members demonstrated why the rescue department’s motto is “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” since 1981.
ICE STORM 2008 UPDATE
(Note: The first digital update was first sent on Monday morning due to the computers being down and no internet service. Updates were sent to rescue members via paging on cell phones during the onset of the storm )
Monday Morning - December 15th Update - 11:48am
Thursday night, December 12th, 2008, the Lebanon Rescue Department started out responding to motor vehicle accidents and cars off the road with the start of the storm. Most of Lebanon lost power early Friday morning and we started to get slammed with calls for well being checks and public assists. We had rescue volunteers stay at the rescue station for most of the time while other crews were out checking on residents. From Friday morning through this morning, more than 550 seperate residences in Lebanon have been checked on . Some of these houses we have gone back to several times to make sure they were still ok (so we have completed many more than 550 well being checks). We expect that several hundred more houses will be checked before the end of the storm.
Yesterday (Sunday December 14th) we re-focused on the three major trailer parks (Colonial Mobile Home Park, Evergreen Mobile Home Park and Pitman Mobile Home Park). Rescue volunteers went door to door checking on the residents. We also handed out an informational flyer with the shelter information for residents as well as how to reach the rescue for assistance. We have designated (207) 608-5615 as the command phone for this operation. We have had members doing 16 1/2 hour shifts each day and some doing less, but still being a tremendous help.
Besides going door to door to over 550 residences so far, we have also done the following:
We have parked rescue vehicles at different areas of the town as a lot of people did not have phones to call for help. Several people have stopped to ask questions or to get help. It has been very successful. The Post Office parking lot was the busiest location where people stopped.
We will continue all emergency operations until power is restored. We have heard unofficially that it could be Wednesday before most of the power is restored to Lebanon. We have been in contact with EMA to get updates and they have called with calls for us to check on. We will continue to do well being checks everyday. We have focused on the trailer parks and trying to hit at least a couple houses on each road to ask if they are ok and if they know of anyone who needs help.
"I would like to thank all the rescue members who have helped out with this large operation. Our job is to make sure the public is safe and the volunteers have done a tremendous job checking on their community. Some rescue volunteers have worked for over 50 hours since late Thursday night and have not really been able to go to their own homes. I appreciate everyone's help and hopefully power is restored soon. I would also like to thank Welch's Hardware on Route 202 in East Lebanon which opened up during the middle of the night to help us with supplies we needed. They had no electricity so we went through with flashlights." Rescue Chief Samantha Cole added.
The good news is the power has been restored to the rescue station. The large generator that runs the station normally did not work so we used the little generator that the rescue owns to run the heat in the station. Phone lines to the station have also been restored.
We would like to advise residents, if your family needs any help during this storm, we ask you to contact the rescue command phone at (207) 608-5615 and we can make arrangements to get rescue crews out to assist you. It is important if you know of someone to let us know so we can continue to check their well being throughout the storm.
Lebanon Rescue has run a "Caring Hands" program since 2002. Rescue members have a list of residents that they check on during storms and make sure they are ok. During this storm, several residents have asked how to join the program. They can contact Chief Samantha Cole at (207) 608-5614.
"We have had residents stop the rescue members and offer them some warm food or drinks since they had been out since Thursday night. The community has been very appreciative of the rescue members going door to door to see if they are ok. Thats the nice part of being in a small town, everyone watches out for eachother." Rescue Chief Samantha Cole added.
Updates will be sent out as they become available.
Monday Evening - December 15th Update - 07:30pm
Just a quick update from this mornings email:
Schools will reopen tomorrow. Now all schools in SAD 60 are open.
We have heard that there are about 2400 residents without power currently in Lebanon.
We have spoken to the shelter - as of 7:20pm, there still were about 12 people at the shelter. The paper says they are closing Wednesday, but the director says they will stay open as long as there is a need.
Colonial Mobile Home Park has had its power restored. They are still without water. We have had rescue volunteers helping bring water to them. We still have a couple of rescue members assigned to the park to check on citizens.
We continued to do well being checks throughout the day and into tonight. Rescue crews found a patient who had fallen and was injured - we had checked on him yesterday and brought wood in for him as he was out. Today he fell out of his wheelchair and got hurt. Good job to Annette and Carmen who found this patient!
I am assuming that we will probably stop well being checks at 8pm tonight unless we get anymore calls to check on someone. We will recontinue them tomorrow for areas without power.
We have been going door to door with the fliers and have received many phone calls looking for help. The number for people to call is the EMS command phone at (207) 608-5615.
Keep up the great work.
Monday Evening - December 15th Update - 09:35pm
Rescue crews were called to assist the Lebanon Animal Control Officer with some horses and a neglect issue. Rescue crews were able to locate hay to assist the ACO and other rescue crews were able to pick up and deliver the hay for the ACO to the scene.
Crews ended up staying out past 8pm checking on people and assisting with the above call.
Total residences checked is about 600 currently. Some houses have been checked each day due to special circumstances, so the number is much higher then 600, we only count the house once.
It appears the Town Hall will reopen tomorrow (Tuesday).
Thank you to everyone for helping out. The citizens have really appreciated your help and concern.
Tuesday Evening - December 16th Update - 10:00pm
We spent several hours during the day and then again this evening continuing to go door to door. We stopped at 9pm as we didn't want to wake up people if they had gone to bed. We were going to stop at 8pm, but we found two roads we hadn't really checked good yet that still had no power.
Some of the areas still with no power include: (Mostly South and West Lebanon)
There are probably more roads, but these are the roads the rescue crews checked on tonight.
Today we checked on about 83 houses. As of 10pm tonight, we have now checked on about 683 residences. (Again, we checked on some of these houses severa times since Friday, so the number of actual checks is actually much higher). We are still counting all the other public assists and other storm related calls for service.
The residents have been so appreciative of the work you are doing. Several have commented on how nice it is to see the members checking the well being of all the residents. I just read and forwarded an email that the Selectmen's Office had received from a very grateful resident.
On Sunday, a new link was added to our website to update residents on conditions and operations in Lebanon. Residents can go to www.lebanonrescue.com and click on the "ICE STORM 2008" and it will direct them to the site. We also added a section where people can send a request for assistance or well being checks directly from the internet. We did get one request from an out of state person who was trying to reach a family member who had no phones. We were able to respond and check on the person and then let them use our cell phone to speak with their son out of state. We understand most citizens do not have power, but out of state family members can access the updates and send requests, so we thought it was important to make that service possible.
Now all schools in SAD 60 are open. (Barring any snow cancellations!)
The Town Office is open.
It appears the Sanford Shelter has closed. Jason and I went over to the shelter around 6pm tonight to check on residents and there was no one there - no staff and no residents. We have been unable to reach anyone from the shelter. There are still other shelters open and we can provide transportation for residents needing a ride.
Colonial Mobile Home Park has restored its water to all residents. The crew that had been assigned to that park has been reassigned to other parts of the town.
The well being checks are winding down. We have hit most of the areas that still do not have power. Depending on the weather, we will probably spend a couple hours tomorrow going door to door for areas we may have missed. The phone calls asking us to check on people have also diminished.
We have also been handing out our carbon monoxide fliers to people running generators.
The number for people who may need assistance or to have someone checked on is the EMS command phone at (207) 608-5615.
Keep up the great work.
They have been saying we may received 3-6 inches of snow tomorrow!
Wednesday December 17th - Update at 10:00pm
We have heard from the County Emergency Operations Center that all of Lebanon has had its power restored. If you know of someone without power still in Lebanon, they need to report it to Central Maine Power at 1-800-696-1000.
Rescue crews remained out until 7pm finishing well being checks.
If you have an emergency, dial 9-1-1
If you need assistance, please contact the EMS Command Line at (207) 608-5615.
You can send us requests also by using the form below - they will be checked on frequently for new requests. Please make sure you include your name and a good number for rescue crews to call you back at.