United Rentals’ Offers Toms River First Responders Ability to Communicate After Sandy

The New Jersey shore has seen its share of storms over the years and many people have electric generators at-the-ready for just such an occasion.

However, no one could have foreseen, the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy on Oct. 29, 2012. The combination of wind and rain took out power lines, toppled utility poles, knocked houses clear off foundations and dumped beach-fuls of sand onto the roadways.

Our self contained trailer is equipped with a full communications center. It has heat and works completely on generator power.

The power was out. No one could get gasoline to power the generators – both because there wasn’t enough gas to go around and also because the streets in most shore towns were completely impassible by cars.

Thanks to some quick thinking on the part of United Rentals, Toms River had a saving grace.

“We have an emergency relief trailer that we offered to the Toms River Police Department, because we know how large the area is down there and we saw how hard the town was hit,” explained Mike McDonald, branch manager for Trench Safety for the Ridgefield Park-based company.

“Our self contained trailer is equipped with a full communications center. It has heat and works completely on generator power.” (The trailer also has air conditioning which has been used during other crises. No need for A/C this time around!)

The Toms River Police Department took United Rentals up on its offer and started using the trailer as a command post. United Rentals also donated the “manpower,” keeping a team onsite to man the trailer.

“We consider ourselves at United Rentals like first responders. When something happens, we want to be there to help,” McDonald added. “There was a need and we called right away to offer our services. It’s important for our team to work together with the townships and local police to help with a fast resolution to any emergency.”

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