Wednesday, November 26, 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

    Time to give thanks for nature’s beauty

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Food fight … in a good way

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Fremont Weir parking lot remains closed

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1

     
    Occupy movement settles in at UC Davis

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Guard reinforcements contain damage in Ferguson

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Weather affecting Thanksgiving travelers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Second cat-hoarding suspect arrested

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Happy Thanksgiving from The Enterprise

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Year-end films to see, or not, on KDRT

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    LCI marks 50 years with special service

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Senior Center hosts holiday sing-along

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Sutter sponsors qigong for holiday de-stress

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Learn to use Skype at Connections Café

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Girls who volunteer may apply for grant

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Round up at the registers for Davis schools

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Davis Community Gift Project brightens holidays for children

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Speaker proposes changes in humanities doctorate

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

    Boy Scouts start Christmas tree sales on Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Volunteers needed to grow plants for habitat restoration

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

    Rainbow City community meeting set Dec. 1

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Forum

    She wants more from him

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Planting love at new home

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Innovation parks comparison

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Musings in the wake of Ferguson decision

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Rich Rifkin: Is it time to be a bear or a bull?

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Let’s not lose another good DHS coach

    By Chris Saur | From Page: B1

     
    Blue Devils prepare for a new season on the mat

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    No excuses, but there’s hope for UCD after 2-9 season

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Joseph, Manzanares lead 10 All-Big Sky Aggie picks

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS wrestling is not just for boys

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Davis Little League offers early sign-up discounts

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Kings get past Pelicans

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    .

    Features

    Salute to non-steamed broccoli

    By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    It really is ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’

    By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Elzyne Thompson

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Death notice: Buddy Ralph Mills

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, November 26, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Ready, Set, Shop!

    Shop locally: You can have your pie and eat it too

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: RSS1

    Santa’s little helper: secrets to happy holiday shopping

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: RSS2

    Make sure it gets there: deadlines for shopping and shipping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: RSS2

    Downtown lights up at holiday open house

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: RSS3

    Full of warm wishes and over-sharing, the holiday card lives on

    By The Associated Press | From Page: RSS4

    Shop smart: Protect your wallet and your identity this shopping season

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RSS5

    Woodland celebrates the holidays downtown

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RSS5