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County Officials Recognize First Responders, Volunteers For Swift Service During Irene

Delaware County council members took time from Tuesday's meeting to thank the area's first responders and volunteers who helped participate in the weekend's state of emergency.

MEDIA–Members of the Delaware County Counil expressed their gratitude at Tuesday's council meeting to the first responders and volunteers who responded quickly to the .

County officials held a press conference on Saturday urging residents to stay indoors and offered safety tips. The county had prepared for the storm with an emergency plan, collaborating with all of the 49 municipalities' emergency personnel officials.

"I'd just like to take a moment to thank you personally and this council and the first responders for doing an excellent job as far as the threat of the hurricane that happened over the weekend," addressed Councilman Mario Civera, Jr. to Council Chairman John Whelan and the council members.

According to Civera, Whelan, who helped gather council members and emergency personnel together at the 9-1-1 center over the weekend, said the preparations made before the storm was not an overreaction but a "meaningful" action.

Statistically, Whelan said the number of emergency calls received over the weekend during the storm was drastically higher than an average weekend.

On average, Whelan said the county receives approximately 1,200 9-1-1 calls from Saturday morning to Sunday evening. When the storm arrived, Whelan said the county reported 3,850 calls during that timeframe.

In addition, the number of non-emergency calls received during that typical timeframe is on average 50 calls while this past weekend the county received nearly 600 non-emergency calls.

"I would like to commend our 9-1-1 center, our emergency operations center, for doing an excellent job," said Whelan. "We were prepared to address the situation and the coordination was certainly important between all the municipalities."

In addition to all the fire and emergency personnel as well as Bill Lovejoy, director of public relations for county council, who were involved during Hurricane Irene, Whelan personally thanked police chiefs Robert Adams of the Collingdale Police Department and Robert Smythe of the Darby Borough Police Department, who, in turn, also thanked Whelan and the council members for their hard work during the storm.

"We had Chief Smythe from Darby Borough and Chief Adams from Collingdale and they had tremendous flooding in that particular area, these chief of police work 24/7 to address crime in their communities but they were called on over the weekend to address a hurricane and they did so bravely, and they did so without sleep quite frankly," said Whelan.

According to Whelan, most of the power in the county has been restored as of Tuesday afternoon but estimated around 10,000-15,000 residents still without power but was hopeful that everyone in the county would be restored by Wednesday evening.

"We're hoping by tomorrow [Wednesday] that the county is back on line with PECO," said Whelan. "PECO should be commended for all of their assistance for bringing in 4,000 extra employees to address the concerns of Delaware County residents."

Overall, Whelan said it was a "valiant effort" from all of the communities who helped participate in the storm emergency. "We were able to get through this unscathed."

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