Heroes visit the Hall

By Samantha Carr

Hurricane Irene blew through Upstate New York in less than 24 hours.

But the damage it left behind won’t soon be forgotten.

Dave Lord and his team of firefighters from the East Bay area of California received the call from New York State looking for rescue workers to make the trip and be available for help following the storm.

Soon 34 men and women from the Alameda County, Oakland, Fremont, Richmond, Hayward and Contra Costa County Fire Departments were on their way to New York. Originally assigned to Brooklyn by the Office of Emergency Management, the team was soon split up and assigned upstate.

“The mission changed twice on us,” Lord said. “When we landed at La Guardia airport, we helped in Brooklyn as the storm came through the five boroughs. But the water kept coming up and up and soon we were split up between Essex County and 14 of us were reassigned to Delhi in Delaware County.”

Two towns southeast of Cooperstown, Margaretsville and Fleishmanns, saw severe damage with flooding. These rescue workers answered the call and were there to help.

“There was severe damage,” Lord said. “There were houses washed off their foundations. The whole downtown infrastructure was decimated. I was standing next to a building and the high water mark was a good foot over my head.”

Lord’s team worked to do reconnaissance, assess the damage and provide resource management. Once that work was done, the team began actually assigning resources out to help people of the community.

“It was a pretty scary time for those folks.”

With their hard work behind them, the firemen couldn’t get a flight back to California for a few days – so they decided to make a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Mostly Giants fans, the men walked through the Autumn Glory exhibit featuring artifacts from the 2010 World Series on Friday.

No one had been to the Museum before, and a number of the guys said this visit was something they have always wanted to do and put on their bucket list.

“I’ve got chills,” said Lord.

I am lucky enough to walk through the Baseball Hall of Fame everyday. But it gave me chills to meet men who spend their lives helping others.

Samantha Carr is the manager of web and digital media at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

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