Firefighters in Louisiana for Ida relief
Five Madison firefighters and four from Gluckstadt are in Louisiana helping with Hurricane Ida recovery, a deployment that could last two weeks, officials said.
A grateful Lee Road Fire Department in Covington, Louisiana, posted pictures on social media upon Madison’s arrival last Wednesday night.
“Relief from the City of Madison Mississippi and the Mississippi State Fire Academy arrived tonight to assist our agency!” a Lee County Road Fire Department Facebook post said. “We appreciate the support that we have received and welcome them to our community, they too are now part of YOUR fire department.”
There were pictures of the first responders in a group photo, at a briefing, Madison’s Disaster Response trailer along with a Madison Fire Department pickup.
Madison Fire Chief Derrick Layton said the group left the morning of Sept. 1 escorted by the Mississippi State Fire Marshal’s Office.
The contingent of Madison firefighters includes Paramedic Blakeney Wyman, EMT Josh Hudgens, EMT Peyton Clark, EMT and Training Coordinator Nick Brookes and EMT Lt. Tommy Stewart.
From the Gluckstadt Fire Department are Nick Rushton, Station 3 battalion chief; Lt. Chad Perry of Station 3; Pvt. Joshua Burge of Station 2; and Lt. Andy Divine of Station 3.
The Gluckstadt firefighters were sent to the Hammond Fire Department.
The Madison firefighters and Fire Academy personnel were sent St. Tammany Parish, where they worked clearing trees from roadways, looking for any missing people and putting tarps on houses, among other things.
Layton said he was happy the local firefighters could help.
“It’s our job to help people,” Layton said. “If our Louisiana neighbors need help, we want to help them out as best we can and I know they would do the same for us.”
Layton said he does not know when the firefighters will return, as the mission could last as long as two weeks.
In addition to the firefighters who traveled to Louisiana, two other firefighters, inspector Kevin Miller and EMT Bradley Page, went to Gulfport on Friday, Layton said.
Gluckstadt Fire Chief Henry Davis said Texas sent in a lot of fire engines, and the firefighters from Gluckstadt are set to work those engines.
“Along with these guys, we also sent two rescue units,” Davis said. “I believe they’ll make a good impact. We’re here to help, that’s what we do. If people need aid, we’ll try our best to help them.”
Davis said the four firefighters in place now will stay for seven days and when they come back, four more will travel to Louisiana to take their place.
“They need cover for 14 days,” Davis said. “They’ll be doing structural firefighting and electrical work. I know they’ll do good work and help the people in need there.”
Hurricane Ida came ashore as a category 4 storm in south Louisiana on the morning of Aug. 29 devastating much of south Louisiana and south Mississippi 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina hit the same areas. The storm killed as many as 13 people in Louisiana and another 50 from Virginia to Connecticut.
As of Sunday, Sept. 5, the Associated Press reported that “more than 630,000 homes and businesses remained without power in southeast Louisiana, according to the state Public Service Commission. At the peak, 902,000 customers had lost power.”