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Delaware Governor: Jack Markell

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  Archived Posts From: 2010


Thank You to Our Firefighters and EMS Teams

Written on: February 23rd, 2010 in Helping Our Neighbors

Delaware’s firefighters and emergency medical services personnel saved lives and risked their own throughout the state.  The Ladies Auxiliary teams provided essential support to transportation crews and police officers, as well as firefighters and EMTs.  Here are a few of the notes that I received thanking these brave men and women:

Heather Johnson in Long Neck wrote about her experience with the Mid Sussex Rescue Squad and the Sussex County Paramedics, and asked us to thank “these volunteers from all stations across the State for their hard work and time that they gave to ensure that all patients received the proper care. These individuals do not get paid to do what they do and spent days fighting the wind and snow to shovel out the ambulance when it was stuck and shovel people out of their houses to get them to the hospital.”

From Tricia Saunders: In the best, and most importantly, the worst of times, the guys of the Memorial Fire Company of Slaughter Beach are always there for us and the surrounding communities. During the storms they are constantly keeping the roads opened… With the last storm they even plowed out driveways and mailboxes. They don’t get paid for any of the services that they provide and they put in an incredible amount of hours to keep our town safe.”

From Catherine Simon in Smyrna: Some crews of firefighters and EMTs stayed at the firehouse for several consecutive days and nights in order to be readily and safely available for any emergencies in our area.  Our firefighters, during the off time when they weren’t out on calls, spent countless hours with plows attached to their personal pickup trucks digging out our town’s elderly, widowed, and others…  The Auxiliary members spent time preparing and serving meals to these men and women…  It was great to see everyone working together for the well-being and safety of the public.”

The Cheswold Fire Department helped essential staff members get to their posts at Brenford Residential Treatment Center.  Bryce Bunce wrote: “The fireman who did the transporting was humble and simply stated ‘that’s what we do, we’re here to serve the public.’  I appreciated their willingness to help and put themselves and their equipment at risk, their hospitality, humility, and positive attitude.”

Karen Lewis wrote to me about her experience with the Townsend Fire Company, which—in addition to rescuing others—had to overcome its own roof collapse:  “I am really thankful to the Townsend Fire Company, DelDOT plow workers, as well as numerous volunteers for their quick response during a medical emergency.  On Saturday evening, right after the record-breaking snow storm, my husband was having difficulty breathing, and was in extreme distress…I called 911 to request an ambulance and in record time they responded.  I was amazed at how quickly they were able to get to my house, especially under the circumstances…  It was remarkable as everyone combined their efforts to assist under these deplorable conditions.  Before you knew it, snow plows came and plowed a path for the ambulance, as well as plowed my driveway in order to get to my husband.  There were at least 10 volunteers that came and shoveled the walkway and several other volunteers that helped to get my husband into the ambulance as well as the paramedics. My husband is still recuperating and we are extremely thankful to the men and women that came to his rescue.


Please send your comments to Governor Markell at

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Dedicated to You: Amazing and Awe-Inspiring

Written on: February 22nd, 2010 in Helping Our Neighbors

Last week, I asked State employees to share with me stories of compassion and commitment from the storm.  The response was overwhelming—I was deeply touched as I read about the unsung heroes.

Many of you may have read the excellent article in The News Journal, and I want to share even more.

For that reason, I’m launching my blog today and dedicating it to our very hardworking employees across Delaware.  I’ll be sharing stories from citizens and colleagues about acts of bravery, as well as important issues that affect us all.

Here are just a few of the many inspirational stories from our friends and neighbors:

Correctional Officer Jeanette McCarl and Lieutenant James Stanton helped Private Uri Berroa, a soldier who was stranded on his way to report for service in Iraq.  According to Lieutenant Stanton: “I am so proud of Jeanette for taking the time to help another citizen who had a greater calling than us. And I’m proud of Uri Berroa for braving an historic snow storm to go to a foreign land to fight and his dedication to our country.  And I’m proud of Uri’s wife for making sure he made it to his destination just to go to a place far more dangerous than a Delaware snow storm.”

From Kathie Gibson: “The staff at Emily P Bissell Hospital demonstrated extraordinary efforts during this unprecedented storm once again.  I am sure my peers at our sister facilities also had the same stories.” Nurses, the grounds clearing crew, maintenance mechanics, security officers, housekeepers, materials managers, food service workers and dietary staff, nursing assistants, and others slept at the facility to care for the residents. Ms. Gibson wrote:Through it all—the job was their priority…It takes a lot of coordination and effort to keep a 24/7 facility in operation during these conditions. Line staff did what was needed regardless of administrations actions.  The line staff are the real heroes every day.”

From Robin Hartnett-Sterner: “Paratransit Operators were transporting folks to dialysis and when the weather got too bad, the National Guard assisted…The Red Cross had shelters open ready to assist those in need…The National Guard transported the volunteers to the shelters…once the shelters were up and running, the volunteers kept the shelters going, providing cots, blankets and a warm meal for those at the shelter…around the clock… None of this could have happened without the assistance from so many organizations, volunteers and first responders. Many people worked long hours but ensured that those in need were taken care of. DelDOT did a great job in keeping the main roads open.”

Kristie Pedigo wrote to me about her husband, Marvin Pedigo: “His plow truck ended up breaking down out on one of the back roads.” He waited for help to come and, “At this point, the truck could not run so there was no heat in the vehicle. It just so happened that he broke down in front of a home and before he knew it the residents were coming up to the truck with cookies and offering to make him something to eat. These people truly understood and were thankful for what my husband was doing, which doesn’t happen very often. It definitely touched him and gave him a little bit of a boost to make it through the last few days with hardly any sleep and not seeing us.”

From Mary Smith: “My dad is very ill, and with no heat or electric…the National Guard spent almost five hours getting to my mom and dad and got them to the shelter in Georgetown.  I cannot express my gratitude enough for what those men and woman did for my parents.  What a wonderful gift they gave me. I thank them with all my heart.”

This can’t even begin to recognize all of the people who deserve it.  There are countless community members who rose well above the call of duty, and I will be recognizing a few more over the course of this week.


Please send your comments to Governor Markell at

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