Volunteer firefighters and first aid squad members stood by at the Liberty Hose firehouse on White Street during the widespread power outage Tuesday evening. (Click to enlarge)
Burglar and fire alarms went off all over town, prompting the police chief to keep one shift working past quitting time and call in additional personnel to deal with the obvious emergency.
Traffic at major intersections was moderately chaotic, until fire police arrived to direct vehicles, and workers from the public works department deployed barricades and temporary four-way stop signs at major crossroads.
Two men were briefly trapped at the second story in elevators one at the Red Bank Middle School, the other at the Riverside Towers high-rise before being rescued by firefighters.
The blackout of 2008 turned out to be far less than it might have been. Temperatures were moderate, in the low 50s. And at just over 90 minutes for much of Red Bank, it was nothing like the hellish five-day series of outages and brownouts that followed a transformer fire near Newman Springs Road in early July, 1999, a period in which temperatures soared close to 100 degrees.
But Tuesday night’s outage served as a good test for emergency response personnel, and the performance was “excellent,” according to Fire Marshal Stanley Sickels.
Custodian Elvis Ventura was all smiles as he emerged from the elevator in which he was briefly trapped at the Red Bank Middle School.