Assistant Chief Part of Rescue Operation
Story by Ex Captain Steven Grogan - Photos by Steve & Brian Grogan
On the morning of October 14, 2015, Lynbrook Fire Department's First Assistant Chief John Chavatte, a team leader of Nassau County's Southwest Tactical Rescue Team, and a NYPD ESU officer, responded to assist the Malverne Fire Department with the rescue of a man trapped in a storm drain underneath Corona Avenue, next to Valley Stream State Park property and one block from the Corona Avenue School.
The Southwest Tactical Rescue Team is made up of the RVC, Lynbrook, Malverne, Woodmere, LC, Elmont, Hempstead, and Hewlett Fire Departments. Elmont and RVC responded with teams to the scene as did Freeport which was available and stood-by
Originally, the rescue call came into the Malverne FD for a child stuck in a curb drain at Corona Avenue and Higbie Avenue. A nearby neighbor heard calls for help from the drain and assumed because of the closeness of the school that a child was somehow trapped. The trapped man had most likely climbed into the storm drain from an opening in woods of the park. He got stuck when the drain got too small for him to move forward or back.
Malverne firefighter John Aresta entered a drain down the street and across the road to locate him. The firefighter was joined by Police Officer Probst of Nassau Police ESU. The two rescuers were able to find the man in a maze of drain tunnels under the roadway and turn him around and back to a ladder to get him out. He was then able to climb out on his own. The man was first washed down by Malverne firefighters and then treated by Nassau County EMS who took him to the hospital. The man was, who admitted to be 41 years of age was wearing a hospital band on his wrist. He refused however to give police his name or why he was in the drainage system.
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