I got a phone call last Sunday from my sister Debbie who lives in Chicago. Turns out she was watching the news there and noticed a storm damage report with a video of fire fighters with "Caroga Lake" on the backs of their jackets. So the first thing Debbie said was, "Are you guys ok?"
Of course, she was referring to the storm damage at Pine Lake Park last Saturday night. I didn't realize there had been any national news coverage and don't know what station she was watching, but the damage to the park was quite severe, as we all know, with eight people injured enough to be taken to local hospitals and even to Albany Medical Center.
The silver lining in all this was the fact that our local Caroga Lake Volunteer Fire Department was quickly on the scene doing search and rescue and evacuating the approximately 1,000 people attending The Eddy music festival that evening.
I noticed on the TV coverage they were filming our fire chief Barbara De Luca surveying the situation and totally taking charge. I feel so fortunate to have such an able fire chief such as Barb in our midst.
On a personal level I have formed a relationship with Barb when I was having a problem outside at our previous camp. I was in the sun in our driveway and as I used to say, I got "zapped" by the heat due to my heat sensitivity with MS.
The thing is, where we lived back then, there was not a breath of air or wind to speak of due to our being surrounded by the foliage of trees. I just pressed my Lifeline button (at that time I could still use my hands) and they came right away to my rescue.
Ever since then when there have been power outages or severe weather, Barb will stop by and make sure I am ok. I cannot tell you how very much I appreciate this effort by Barb. We in Caroga are blessed to have her leadership along with her loyal fire and rescue workers.
I enclose photos showing the storm damage from our friend Ken's drone at Pine Lake Park and a leadership award presentation from March with Assistant Chief Howard Dutcher, Chief De Luca and Assistant Chief Ralph Palcovic at Vrooman’s Hotel.