Written by Carol Frank Saturday, 20 July 2013 00:00
At 11:56 a.m. last Thursday, July 11, the Great Neck Vigilant Engine & Hook & Ladder Company received a call reporting a possible gas leak. Immediately, the Vigilants swung into action.
Second Assistant Chief Josh Charry, upon arriving at the scene and determining that it was an actual ruptured natural gas line, upgraded the response from a single engine investigation to a general alarm response at 12:07 p.m.
As incident commander Charry’s first priority is to determine if a real leak exists, to locate and isolate it and to protect civilians from injury by either evacuating them from the area or blocking them from entering a danger zone.
Traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular, was diverted from that portion of Middle Neck Road for approximately three hours.
Commander Charry in answering the Great Neck Record’s questions emailed: “We have natural gas detectors that allow us to identify the presence of natural gas, but they do not tell us how much gas there is. National Grid has meters that can quantify the amount of gas that is leaking. We use our detectors to check buildings for the presence of natural gas so that we can ventilate them to get the gas out.”
He added, “In today’s incident, since we knew that there was a large amount of gas leaking from the ruptured line in the street, we stretched and operated a hose line to dissipate the gas that was escaping in order to prevent the gas from getting concentrated enough in the air to the point where it might ignite.”
Village of Great Neck Plaza building inspector Mike Sweeney said, “When everyone gets out of the way and lets the professionals do their jobs ... nobody gets hurt.”
As Middle Neck Road falls under Nassau County’s jurisdiction, contractors are not required to obtain permits from the village to do work on the street. A gas main is being replaced on Bond Street, which is under the village’s jurisdiction.