Fire Crews recovering after disaster in East Palestine
"I want nothing more than to get my residents back home.".
That was a frustrated East Palestine fire chief Keith Drabick, just days ago prior to the evacuation order being lifted in East Palestine.
Although residents are returning home and first responders are finally catching their breath..."The stress is unmeasurable", they still haven't been able to catch a break.
"Shortly after we broke down the command center the other day, we had a structure fire to go to.", Drabick explained, tired but still a laundry list of things to do.
While other departments are coming to the rescue, offering assistance in the forms of equipment and other resources, supplies at the East Palestine Fire Department are still tight.
"Hoses, our gear, our breathing apparatuses, apparatuses in general--pretty much everything that we have.", the fire chief added.
For the last several days firemen have been retrieving equipment from the scene of the train derailment, decontaminating it, salvaging what they can, and bagging up the rest for disposal. Drabick says they've been adhering to manufacturer protocol when it comes to sorting through the gear, in addition he says he can't put a price on what it will cost to replace the discarded equipment at this time.
"I couldn't even begin to tell you, several hundred thousands in air packs--enough to get us through, I placed that order today ", Drabick said.
His number one priority is keeping his guys safe and depsite being down on resources, Drabick says when duty calls--it's their job to respond.
Community support continues to pour in in the forms of monetary donations and food. Drabick says numerous residents have stopped by to show their gratitude. He says they've received an abundance of food, and will be donating the non-perishable food items to organizations in the county that are in need.