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Twister rips side off NY volunteer EMS building

The building will take months to repair, but EMS workers say they’re glad it was their empty building and not a home were someone could have been injured or killed

DUANESBURG, N.Y. — An apparent tornado tore through Duanesburg late Thursday afternoon, damaging several buildings and roads, taking down trees and wires and ripping off the side of the Duanesburg Volunteer Ambulance Corps building.

Nobody was inside at the time.

“It’s absolutely heartbreaking,” volunteer Kathy Chastney told the Daily Gazette.

She and another EMT were heading to a call for a pair of truck rollovers, and arrived at the garage to find the wall completely gone, ripped off by the wind. An ambulance inside had a dented hood and shattered windshield.

Peter Brodie, captain of the ambulance serviced, said the damage was “catastrophic,” but that the ambulance would be repaired. The company’s other ambulance was out on a call.

“I’d rather it be my building, occupied by no one, than a home occupied by a child or elderly person whose life is ended by something that dangerous,” he said. “I’d rather it hit our building, because we’re resilient. We’re EMTs. We bounce back.”

Damage at the ambulance building is expected to take months to repair, Schenectady County Fire Coordinator John Nuzback said. In the meantime, ambulances will be stationed at the Duanesburg and Quaker Street fire departments.

He met with town public safety officials, and is developing an action plan. It’s expected it will take months to repair the building. In the meantime, ambulances will be stationed at the nearby Duanesburg and Quaker Street fire departments.

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