Hurricane Sandy Team Report

Staten Island, New York, USA (Wednesday 19 December 2012)           Gary Foo, ERT Search and Rescue

Canadian ERT SAR team to return from New York

deployment assisting with Hurricane Sandy Recovery

United Nations recognised Disaster Search and Rescue Team; ERT SAR (Emergency Response Team – Search and Rescue) assists New Yorkers in Staten Island following Hurricane Sandy

ERT Search and Rescue deployed to Staten Island on the request of the United States Government to help with the relief and recovery efforts following the devastating hurricane Sandy.

The team who deployed as a coordinated arm of the United Nations to Port Au Prince, Haiti and other recent earthquakes and floods etc. are well used to working in disasters.  ERT SAR were hosted and supported by a very active community partner in the recovery efforts, Reverend Daniel Delgado who has been instrumental in the response and recovery efforts following the devastating super storm for the community in Staten Island and beyond.  ERT SAR was in touch with the US Government when the disaster happened and within 4 weeks after the Department of State in New York coordinated the humanitarian response and connected the two groups, ERT SAR and Third Day Missions (a long term disaster recovery group serving Staten Island and the tri-state area) to work together in a multitude of capacities.  This included:

·         Felling and cutting trees with chainsaws and debris removal

·         Entering underground flooded basements using specialised Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

·         Reconnaissance, Investigating and reporting on damaged areas

·         Pumping out water laden buildings with generators and water pumps on 24 hour cycles

·         Fixing and restoring damaged property using power tools

·         Delivering aid such as food, clothing and blankets

·      Assisting residents impacted by the disaster at a FEMA supported Christmas banquet for 600 Sandy victims  

·         Working and close cooperation with other disaster teams in the area from police to churches and developing strategies for future recovery


Chain sawing a clearing

Governor Cuomo’s officer in New York was very complimentary about the work and aid brought together by the partnership of Third Day Missions and Rev. Daniel Delgado with the Canadian ERT SAR Team.   The ERT SAR team comprised of 2 former Canadian Police Officers, 2 Toronto Paramedics, a Canadian Forces Military Veteran (with tours in Afghanistan) and 3 (pre-service) Fire and Rescue aspirants.  

They are all unpaid volunteers and deploy to disasters anywhere in the world.  They return to Toronto on Thursday 20th December 2012.


[PICTURE: Virginia and Leslye reconstruct property as demo,)

SAR Chief Gary Foo said, “The wake of destruction was overwhelming.  Many homes completely levelled and destroyed and many residents lost everything.  There were stories of people who lost loved ones and suffered extreme loss and yet they thanked us for coming.  We were so humbled by the resilience and generosity of the American people.  

ERT SAR is looking for partnerships and sponsorships to aid in their ability to deliver a rapid response to global disasters and emergencies through community partners. 

For more information contact Gary Foo at


Please donate


Gary Foo, SAR Chief



ABOUT:  ERT Search and Rescue is a United Nations recognised INSARAG* Search and Rescue Team founded in 2002 in the United Kingdom and now 2 years old in Canada.  An International Disaster Response Search and Rescue team, comprised of trained volunteers from Police, Military, EMS / Medical and Fire and Rescue backgrounds they have deployed all over the world including the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti, The Floods in the UK, The 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in the Indian Ocean and the Earthquake in South East Asia, 2005. 


*INSARAG (International Search and Rescue Advisory Group) specialises in USAR (Collapsed Structures Search and Rescue / Urban Search and Rescue) and Tech. Rescue Medical team with over 60 volunteers in Toronto and over 120 specially trained members in the United Kingdom.  ERT SAR is an International NGO (Non-Government Organisation) and registered charity in the UK and federally registered Non-Profit in Canada.



For a selection of pictures of the deployment email

TEAM:  This 8 person Canadian team (with their backgrounds) deployed from the GTA was

Gary Foo  SAR Chief (United Nations SAR Lead, Police, Paramedic and NFPA Rescue Tech. Instructor)

Virginia Foo (Police & NFPA Tech Rescue Specialist, Water Rope & USAR)

Darren Devos (Toronto EMS ACP Paramedic)

Deb Bisztriczky (Toronto EMS PCP Paramedic, NFPA Rescue Tech. Instructor)

Glenn Villa - Former PPCLI Canadian Forces Soldier (Tech Rescue & USAR Specialist)

Josh Foo - Pre-Service Fire (NFPA Tech Rescue Specialist, Water Rope & USAR)

Leslye So - Pre-Service Fire (NFPA Tech Rescue Specialist)

Sean O'Neil - Pre-Service Fire / Aux. Canadian Coastguard

Command and Control / BoO (Base of Operations) Team:

Doctor Rocco Lombardi - Medical Director and USAR Tech Rescue Specialist

Jadie Stainthorpe-Miller - Firefighter & Rescue Tech.

Big Thank you to:-

The United States government and people including Gov. Cuomo's Office 

The Reverend Daniel Delgado and his fantastic team from Third Day Missions


NYPD New York Police Department) and the NYFP New York Fire Department

All our members, sponsors and supporters.


Pumping out flooded underground basements

NOTE: ERT SAR names this mission internally as "Operation Bobcat" 


[Their kind donation lists to follow]

DIMERSAR                        CANADIAN TIRE (MEADOWVALE)                RONA (2933 EGLINTON AVE W)

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