Thursday, October 2, 2014
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 asturla@davisenterprise.net

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

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

  • .

    News

     
    Sunder wants to expand opportunities for all

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Davis, discovered

    By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Man, hostage dead after Southern Calif. standoff

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Ruling lets bankrupt city cut pension benefits

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Three hurt when bus brakes suddenly

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    California community reels after mayor shot dead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    CalPERS members: Here’s how to choose Sutter Health

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Standing In: Sponge baths, and other perils of the restaurant biz

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

     
    Ex-firefighter to stand trial for fatal wildfire

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    At Davis intersections, let’s be careful out there

    By Kim Orendor | From Page: C2 | Gallery

     
    California teens arrested in 920 chicken deaths

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Gallery hosts poetry night

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Oktoberfest features Grand Isle Fire Brigade

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sunder supporters gather on Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Trokanski discusses new project on ‘Davisville’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Learn more about Boy Scouts during upcoming events

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Third-graders face high-stakes reading targets

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

    Learn how to ride a bike in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Feinstein, Boxer depend on red-leaning Senate races

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A3

    Parenting advice on radio show

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Archer event set for Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Per Capita: Tales from the back burner

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

     
    Sunflower power at the Winters Community Library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Tour gives opportunity to watch moonrise in the bypass

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

     
    Register to vote by Oct. 20

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    UC campuses aim to be more inclusive to LGBT students

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Check out Soroptimists at info night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Helping disabled ag workers stay in agriculture

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Yolo County flu vaccination clinics ready for the season

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Junior high students invited to math festival

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5

     
    Shelter volunteers take on play time, poop detail

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Energy plan calls for big renewables projects in state’s deserts

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A5

     
    Election programming available through Davis Media Access

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Unitrans persists through changing times

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: C6 | Gallery

     
    Up for a fun day trip? Take a bike to Bike Dog

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: C8 | Gallery

    Farmers Market hosts Fall Festival

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    School spending by rich parents widens wealth gap

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Volunteers are trained to help with train questions

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    There are plenty of fun activities around town

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C13 | Gallery

    Getting from here to there by buses, planes and trains

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C14 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Feeling shunned after tragedy

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Barbara Archer for school board

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Vote for change on board

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Poppenga considers all students

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Climate change is coming for you

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    A true vision for peace

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Drivers, just follow the rules

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Let’s fix the park deck

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    ‘Maupin’s Law’ 2.0: Prevention is better than punishment

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Choose Archer, Sunder, Adams

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Cheung paces Devils past Pacers on the pitch

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Despite 168 points allowed, PSU defense may not be lousy

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Bumgarner, Crawford help Giants slam Bucs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS JV runners shine in varsity events

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Youth roundup: Diamonds swing to victories at Vineyard Classic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: DHS girls tennis goes three for three

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Davis robotics team pays it forward

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Next Gen: What’s Happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A7

    .

    Arts

    Music for brass, choir and organ set at DCC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Natsoulas to host mural conference

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    Odd Fellows to screen classic Westerns

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Wineaux: Picking the last rosé of summer

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

    Robbie Fulks will visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Old Macs get new life at art exhibit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Woodland Opera House rounds up cowboy poetry, music

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Anne Elizabeth Elbrecht

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, October 2, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6