WNYT.com

Latham Fire Department halts Sandy donations

Posted at: 11/10/2012 9:14 PM
Updated at: 11/10/2012 11:16 PM
By: Dan Levy

LATHAM - When the Latham Fire Department began collecting items for Super storm Sandy victims last week, there was a concern they'd have trouble filling a giant tractor trailer. Early Saturday evening, the fourth completely loaded tractor trailer left their firehouse, headed for downstate storm victims.

It's a clear case of caring beyond capacity. Super storm Sandy donations began coming into the Latham Fire House Tuesday afternoon, and ever since, it's been a mob scene.

"Absolutely non-stop," says Assistant Fire Chief Neil Blanchard. "It's non-stop giving from complete strangers giving to people they're never going to meet and it's just been absolutely awesome."

Teri Rudolph of Colonie was one of the many, countless people who stopped by with desperately needed supplies after first checking out the fire house web site.

"We tried to pick out a little variety of those things," she said, "and we figured if everybody gives a little, it'll all add up."

To say that it all added up, is a vast understatement.

"When I first started this, I was concerned that we wouldn't really fill the first tractor trailer that was donated by Price Chopper," Blanchard says. "Behind the fire house right now (Saturday 6:00 P.M.) is the third tractor trailer donated by Price Chopper and a fourth from Conway Trucking has already gone down and made a delivery at Yankee Stadium."

"We just really felt that we wanted to do something to help and it's a little something that we can do to try to give back," Rudolph added.

Even though the eventual recipients of the overwhelming generosity will likely never know where it all came from, a fairly well-known organization in the Bronx already knows about the Latham operation.

Blanchard says he received a call from the New York Yankees Saturday afternoon thanking him personally for everything that's already been done.

Chief Blanchard says other area fire departments will be setting up donation drives in the coming weeks. When that happens, News Channel 13 will post them on our web site.