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Ross Blair, Hurricane Sandy Rescuer of NYC Tunnels to Speak at Newtown Quakers

 Ross Blair, National Sales Manager for Rain For Rent (R4R), and a member of Newtown Friends Meeting, will speak about his experience pumping out the NYC tunnels after Hurricane Sandy on Sunday, December 9, at 9:45 a.m. at the Newtown Friends Meetinghouse, 219 Court Street.  http://www.newtownfriendsmeeting.org The public is invited. 

Ross Blair heads up the Rain for Rent Sales Division of 7 Regional Sales Managers and 210 Sales Representatives covering 60 branches throughout the USA and 1 in Canada. Rain for Rent is a national Liquid Ingenuity company with 2,000 employees offering solutions in Pumps, Tanks and liquid handling solutions such as water filtration systems and dewatering systems.

Blair personally is skilled at all aspects of liquid engineering from operating a pump that dewaters at 68,000 gallons per minute to making rain for the movie industry (National Treasure) and managing emergency crisis response teams for Hurricanes Katrina, Irene and Sandy.

Within 48 hours after Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, Blair said he had 87 trained personnel from all over the country on the job. The Emergency Response Unit of Rain for Rent flew in 75 specialists to supplement the 12 people based at the Linden, NJ branch office to pump flood waters from the tunnels in New York City.

 Ross said, “With vital services shut down, we were in a race against time to help get power back on and subways and trains operative.  Since our Linden Office was under 5 feet of water itself, we set up a command post in a hotel, put everyone on 16 hour shifts and took turns sleeping in the available hotel rooms.  My wife, Elizabeth, did a fantastic job of organizing, soliciting, and delivering canned foods, sleeping bags, and supplies from members of Newtown Quaker Meeting, the Newtown Friends School community and other people in the Newtown area.  We were 24/7 for 14 straight days.”

Blair said initially they were pumping out the subway, road and train tunnels and ConEd electric vaults around Manhattan and the World Trade Center.  Later, R4R also worked with a number of refineries to bring back their Filtration Systems and Fire Suppression pump systems which had been completely destroyed.

A native of Scotland, Ross Blair was raised and educated in Aberdeen. He formerly was Regional manager for Scotland and the North of England for SGB Forming and Shoring, a company in the large scale civil engineering industry working on major bridge, tunnel and building sites.  SGB was acquired by Harsco of Camp Hill, PA, moving Blair and his family to the US, and since 2009, Blair has been with Rain for Rent.

Ross Blair lives in Langhorne with his wife, Elizabeth Hurst, their son Baxter Hurst-Blair, a student at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, and their daughter, Dixie'drea Hurst-Blair a student at Newtown Friends School.   

Following the presentation, there will be Meeting for Worship at 11 a.m. with coffee and snacks served afterwards in the Gathering Room.  Child Care is provided and the public is welcome at all events. 


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