While sitting here waiting for a formal and approved call during my post summer slow season (now waiting for 14 days...) with gear packed and our chiefs' blessings to go, I've had time to explore some of the various response options.

I've also been here for the round of FEMA/Homeland Security NIMS 700 training that's just been conducted and all I can say to you guys who are SO near the LA/MS coast is that I can feel the burn that must be running through your minds right now. Needless to say, every firefighter here was far less then impressed at having to take a test that the giver has so badly failed, especially the interoperability of communications portion.

That said, and not to add to the off-topic fray, I also just caught a local MS post for used/safe condition turn-out gear that's needed for a MS fire dept. whose own gear was damaged beyond use and decided to act on it.

Please see my 09/15 post: Miss. Gulf need for usable Turnout Gear

If some of you boys can peel away from the screen for a few and take a spot check up in the corner of your firehouse store rooms to see if you might be sitting on a set or two I'm sure the effort will not only be hugely appreciated, by those firefighters who lack even the very basics, but you'll also be able to feel like you one-upped the current "management" response as it stands.

Also, there is one organization who started off by responding to last years' tsunami that is currently working in MS to clear and clean MS firefighters HOMES and yards, repair and cover roofs, etc. since FF's there can't because they're doing double duty already!

The group, Hands On USA (handsonusa.org) is working directly in conjunction with local authorities, so if you really want to do something for your brothers while being well positioned for any formal duty call, there you go. Plenty to do I'm sure and I'm checking them out myself since at least one police officer is taking part.

Best Regards,

Doc LeDuc
Chesterfield F.D.
Chesterfield, MA