Island Park students send notes to Roswell

Cards express thanks for donation of fire engine

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ISLAND PARK, N.Y. – Hurricane Sandy caused widespread destruction in the village of Island Park, N.Y. Even the fire department and first responders were not spared from the storm’s wrath as the Island Park Volunteer Fire Department lost several emergency vehicles as a result of severe flooding.

After learning of the fire department’s loss, the Georgia chapter of the Terry Farrell Firefighter Fund coordinated the donation of a surplus fire truck from Roswell to Island Park. The Roswell City Council unanimously approved the donation of the pumper truck, which was driven to Island Park and presented to the village.

The 400-student elementary school was entirely destroyed in the storm, and classes have merged with a nearby middle school, school teacher Patricia Pozin said.

“These children are still displaced and still coming to school,” she said. “A lot of their homes are still condemned.”

Pozin said the water levels destroyed many of the homes of the 4,500-resident town just outside New York City.

“Not a house spared,” she said. “The main level of my house had 3 feet of water in it. I lost everything on the main floor.”

When third-graders at Francis X. Hegarty School learned of the kindness of people from another state, they were inspired to thank the residents of Roswell.

Pozin said the idea for thank you cards came when the school learned some residents were going to Florida for vacation, and driving through Roswell, Ga. on their way.

“The students wanted to give their thanks for Roswell giving their community the fire truck,” Pozin said. “They know if there is ever a fire in their house, there is now a fire truck to help.”

Roswell’s gift of a fire truck helped with the recovery of the town.

The thank you cards for Roswell were delivered just in time for Christmas.

“We’re such a small community,” Pozin said. “Thank you for helping us.”