CSC Team Members Support Each Other and Community After Hurricane Michael
October 25th, 2018
With a national footprint, CSC teams are exposed to every kind of severe weather event. This fall has been no different. Most recently, it was Hurricane Michael that reached Florida. As with Florence in late summer and the major hurricanes last year, the severe weather gave an opportunity for team members to step up—to help their communities and each other.
Jim Hall, a Service Technician in CSC’s Tampa branch, lives in Blountstown, a small town 50 miles west of Tallahassee with about 5,000 residents that was hit hard by Hurricane Michael in October.
Unlike many residents who fled the path of the hurricane, Hall stayed put and started his volunteer duties as a firefighter and first responder for the Blountstown Fire Department. Hall has other ties that kept him in town as well – his wife is the city manager and his brother is the fire chief.
“When Mike Powers (Executive Vice President for CSC) heard that I was staying, he contacted me and asked if I could get out,” said Hall. “I told him that wasn’t an option and that my family would be staying in a concrete building owned by the Baptist church until the hurricane passed.”
Immediately after the storm, Jim and the other volunteers cleared a path on the road to the hospital and then started knocking on doors.
“People had no power, no water, nothing, so we spent 72 hours with chainsaws and tractors helping to get people out of their homes,” said Hall.
Before the storm hit, Hall got support from his CSC teammates.
Before landfall, Chris Steuernagel (Branch Manager), Pat Leonard (Field Service Supervisor), Doug Amodie (Field Service Manager), Vic Barnett (Operations Manager), Phil Smith (Collection Manager), and Kevin Henderson (Service Technician) reached out to Hall to check-in on his status.
“When they understood I didn’t have the option to leave, they asked what I needed and to contact them on the other side of the storm to let them know I’m okay,” said Hall. “It’s one of those times you hate to ask for things but they insisted so I mentioned some things that could help make sure my family is ok and help us take care of others.”
The CSC team provided Hall with two generators, one which was used for his family and one for another first responder, food, a full ice chest, snacks and batteries. “There were so many people unloading and giving and giving,” said Hall.
“Once we knew he was staying to be a first responder, we knew we wanted to do anything we could to help him,” said Steuernagel. “We had Doug, Vic, and Phil working on getting things to bring to him. Being part of that, seeing what was going on in Blountstown, it makes an impression on you. How many people want to step up to the plate and cared. The devastation to the town is profound. I’ve seen a lot of storms and lot of devastation, and it tops what I’ve seen.”
Hall spent time transitioning back to his role as a Service Technician while continuing his duties as a first responder.
“Doug and Chris both told me to do what I need to do by taking care of my family and helping people and continue to support me doing that,” said Hall.