Nicholas Walsh fought for his country during World War II and has received numerous military decorations. During Hurricane Sandy, however, others fought for the veteran and avoided a potentially tragic situation.
The Springfield Township Board of Commissioners Tuesday honored employees from Joseph Carroll Electric and Oliver Heating and Cooling—in addition to township police officers and firefighters—for averting a crisis when power went out during Hurricane Sandy at Walsh's home.
Walsh, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, lives with his son, Nicholas, Jr. and his wife, Patricia. At 89, Walsh is mostly bedridden. So when the power went out during the storm, the Walshes faced the problem of moving their ill father, which Commissioners President Jeff Rudolph said, "could have been detrimental to his immediate survival."
However, Joseph Carroll Electric and Oliver Heating and Cooling and provided temporary power during the four-day outage,
"The kindness and generosity that was exhibited toward my father during Hurricane Sandy was truly overwhelming," Nick Walsh, Jr. said. "(Everyone's) commitment to the community was evident in the actions necessary to keep my dad safe during this difficult time."
During his military career, Walsh attained the level of staff sergeant in the U.S. Army. He served in Gen. George Patton's Third Army and fought in campaigns at Normandy, Northern France, and Central Europe—among others. He received a Purple Heart for his injuries at the Battle of the Bulge. Walsh was born in Ireland and became a naturalized U.S. citizen following the war.
After learning of the Walsh electrical outage, township staff attempted to restore power at the home by using generators, but the heating system could not be restored, Rudolph said.
The township brought in Joseph Carroll Electric and Oliver Heating and Cooling to remedy the situation. All services rendered, they provided for free.
The experts determined that the township's generators were insufficient and Oliver Heating secured a suitable one to restart the heating system.
The commissioners honored Joseph Oliver, Steve Pfizenmeyer, William McVean, William Valinate and Joseph Carroll for their altruistic services.
"You have a true American hero, and it didn't take any nudging. People just came out, came forward... and it absolutely amazes me the effort that everyone put together," Rudolph said.