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Illinois Emergency Personnel Headed To New York City

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Cars are blurred as they pass by a darkened Flatiron Building in a section of Manhattan still in a blackout following Hurricane Sandy on October 30, 2012 in New York City. The storm has claimed at least 40 lives in the United States, and has caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic seaboard. US President Barack Obama has declared the situation a 'major disaster' for large areas of the US East Coast including New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Cars are blurred as they pass by a darkened Flatiron Building in a section of Manhattan still in a blackout following Hurricane Sandy on October 30, 2012 in New York City. The storm has claimed at least 40 lives in the United States, and has caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic seaboard. US President Barack Obama has declared the situation a ‘major disaster’ for large areas of the US East Coast including New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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SPRINGFIELD, IL (IRN) – About a dozen emergency staffers from Illinois are headed to New York City to relieve their counterparts who have responded to Hurricane Sandy.

The staffers are local-level personnel who were briefed and processed this morning at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s operations center in Springfield.

One of those headed east is Jim Pitchford, the Macoupin County emergency management coordinator.

“We’ll do basically the same thing in New York that I do at home,” Pitchford said. “Managing resources and getting help to people that need it.”

Speaking of the New York professionals, IEMA director Jonathan Monken says, “Not only are they working all day, incredible hours, but these are people who are personally affected by the disaster. Their families, their homes. And they’ve had to forgo being able to assist those people within those lives to make sure the greater good is served.”

Not only will the visiting crews – from up to 20 states, Monken believes – give the local people a breather, but the outside help will be able to do their work without worrying about their home front.

Monken says the assistance is coming through an emergency management assistance compact, under which New York will pay the expenses.

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