They are used to saving lives, but now, a Queens volunteer department is in need of help after Sandy destroyed most of its equipment. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report.
With their equipment still damp from the flood waters, the head of the West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Fire Department said he doesn't know when they will be able to replace the fire trucks and ambulances they lost in the flood. Three fire engines and two ambulances were destroyed.
"The firehouse received damage up to right around the top of the brick right over here," said Jonah Cohen of the West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Fire Department. "About five to seven feet of water."
The volunteers say the water swept through the firehouse in a matter of minutes. It happened as a crew was helping residents.
"There were two people and their pet that were rescued during that night," Cohen said.
The West Hamilton Beach Volunteer Fire Department has been around for more than a century and it's been a lifeline for this tiny beach community.
This was the place where many went for food and clothes after the power went out, but now that the lights are back on, they are working on getting new equipment.
A backup ambulance and the rig they received from the Hooversville Volunteer Fire Department this week is just about all they have.
"We need some of the equipment we lost," Cohen said. "As far as the Hurst Tools, which are the jaws of life. Again, the equipment that as far as what we lost in the ambulances, the defibrillators, the oxygen equipment, the ambulances themselves as well as the fire trucks that we lost."
Cohen said donations have been coming in from around the country, but as of now, it's not enough to get the volunteer fire department fully up and running again.