Firefighters working around-the-clock on blaze

ORANGEBURG - Firefighters are working around-the-clock to contain the massive brush fire in Rockland County.

Many firefighters have been involved in the effort so far. Crews are periodically coming to a staging area to get checked, receive treatment and get food and water before being sent back out. Paramedics are also treating exhausted volunteer firefighters at a makeshift rehab area at the Korean Church of The Lord on Mountainview Avenue in Orangeburg.

So far, some firefighters have come back with minor eye injuries and smoke inhalation.

About a dozen EMTs are on standby and area hospitals have been notified to be ready as well. "We're prepared for almost anything. We have our monitors, we have the paramedic unit. If someone has a heart attack we can treat that right here," says Rockland Paramedic Glenn Albin.

State police are also on the scene, reviewing maps of the area with fire officials and coordinating their response among firefighters from 26 different fire departments, spanning three counties. "The terrain is unbelievable, very steep, very rocky. The real issue is this mountain hasn't burned in years so the underbrush is very thick," says Orangeburg Assistant Fire Chief Peter Byrne.

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