Tuesday, April 28, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

DHS graduate aids in Hurricane Sandy rescue

Students stack ruined items on the curb, bucket brigade-style, at a home on the north end of Brigantine, N.J., on Tuesday. Students from Holy Spirit High School in nearby Absecon helped residents clean up their properties damaged by Hurricane Sandy. AP photo

Students stack ruined items on the curb "bucket brigade" style at a home on the north end of Brigantine, NJ, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. Students from Holy Spirit High School, located in nearby Absecon, helped residents in Brigantine clean up their properties affected by Hurricane Sandy. (AP Photo/The Press of Atlantic City, Ben Fogletto)

By
From page A1 | November 15, 2012 |

Nobody thought it was going to be like this.

“The sentiment was very much (that Hurricane) Irene wasn’t that bad, so Sandy won’t be either,” said Jacob Vanderbilt, a June graduate of Davis High School who’s now a freshman in college in New Jersey. “But it was bad.”

Vanderbilt rode out Hurricane Sandy with his friends in his dorm at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, watching a movie on a laptop.

“One of the kids across the hall even got to see the whole city light up and (then) lose power,” Vanderbilt said.

That night, Oct. 29, his school sent out an email asking for volunteers to show up in the morning. Vanderbilt and about 50 others came.

Volunteer coordinators divided the students and community members into small groups, aiming to have a Spanish translator in each group. Vanderbilt, who knows Spanish from his time at César Chávez Elementary School and subsequent Spanish classes, was placed as a translator for one such group.

The groups were sent to senior citizens’ homes to check on residents and to determine if anyone needed evacuation or medical attention. Vanderbilt’s group was driven in a Buffalo, a nickname for one of the vehicles left by the National Guard the night before, slowly moving past cars in the street and fallen trees to their assigned building. The truck also could cut through the flood waters that completely surrounded the nine-story senior residence.

The seniors, the vast majority of whom were Hispanic, were scared but safe, Vanderbilt said.

“We were alerted to one man who was in really bad shape,” he said. “His next-door neighbor told us that he was diabetic and he hadn’t left his room in several days.”

As the group entered the room, it became clear that the man needed emergency treatment, Vanderbilt said.

While Vanderbilt had help from bilingual residents in the community rooms, he was linguistically on his own with the man, who spoke only Spanish. The man was “trying to be courteous,” according to Vanderbilt, saying that he didn’t want to inconvenience the team.

“I tried to explain to him that we were there to help him; it wasn’t a matter of our comfort,” Vanderbilt said. “We were there to get him to safety, if that’s what he needed.”

The man eventually consented to being rescued, and EMTs were called. After making sure the man was with medical professionals, Vanderbilt and his group continued to check the building, but no further medical evacuations were necessary.

“We hitched a ride back on one of the Buffalos, and later that night I went back for another shift,” Vanderbilt said.

The freshman continued to volunteer for the rest of the week, showing up at Hoboken City Hall at 8 a.m. and leaving at 8 p.m., when the falling darkness and lack of power forced the work to stop. On Election Day, they had to leave, as their staging area became a polling place. On Nov. 7, the students were back in school.

“A full week later, I was back in classes, which was a pretty abrupt change,” Vanderbilt said.

Community service comes naturally to Vanderbilt, who was honored in June with Davis High School’s top citizenship award, the Gordon H. True Cup.

He said the experience in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy gave him perspective, as well as a greater appreciation for growing up in Davis and the Spanish Immersion program.

“I really appreciate (learning Spanish) now, having seen all the benefits that it provides,” Vanderbilt said. “(The fact) that I’m still able to reach back and use conversational Spanish is a tribute to the teachers and the school system that Davis has.”

— Reach Anna Sturla at [email protected]

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Many hands make light work

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Yolo Basin Foundation celebrates 25 years

    By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Teens embrace public art through Pence Gallery program

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Robotics team members reflect on their big win

    By Kellen Browning | From Page: A1

    City’s eco-classes will explore water, wildlife, pests, composting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

     
    Baltimore smolders after violent night

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Davis police make vehicle theft arrest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Corinthian Colleges closes all 28 remaining campuses

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Capay Organic hosts Cinco de Mayo party

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Yolo County Bar Association honors Magna Carta, probation chief

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Sierra Club leaders will meet April 30

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Party celebrates release of Lescroart’s new novel

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Curious about calculus? Try Barcellos’ new book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Master Gardeners teach workshops throughout county

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Faithful Partner Fund established for K-9 officers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Pedro party, lunch benefit Yolo Hospice

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Author — injured arm in sling — will sign her new book

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Chicken manure compost class planned

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Holmes’ Green Team wins state award

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Vacaville contractor convicted of fraud

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Blueberries, apricots arrive at Sutter market

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    New UCD art lecture series named for Thiebauds

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Pinball show features lots of free play

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Asian garden open for tours this weekend

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    She knows their business

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Waking up to the awful truth

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Dog’s freedom isn’t worth it

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Vaccine bill is vital for our health

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Thanks for camera’s return

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    David Brooks: Love and merit

    By David Brooks | From Page: A6

     
    Davis’ active transportation plan is right on target

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Blue Devil girls run it up on Grant

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    UCD golfers move into first at Big West Championship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Another big inning does in Devil softballers

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1

     
    Huge first frame lifts DHS to big baseball win

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    AAA roundup: Cardinals break out big bats in Davis Little League win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Get a positive vibe Wednesday from Tha Dirt Feelin’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Momentum Dance Company plans spring concert

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    DMTC’s young performers present a steam-punk ‘Snow White’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Sacramento Youth Symphony holding open auditions

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post

    Winters Theatre Company performs on the Big Day of Giving

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    ‘Contempt of Court’ next up at Winters Theatre Company

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    There’s no place like home in DMTC’s ‘Wizard of Oz’

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Have breakfast in Oz on May 16

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Black Sea Hotel to perform in Village Homes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7