USS SHREVEPORT crew helps New Orleans fire station
recover from Hurricane Katrina
By LCDR Jensin W.Sommer, USN
NEW ORLEANS (Sept. 10, 2005) - Battling high humidity, a malodorous air and black sludge everywhere, 15-plus members of USS SHREVEPORT (LPD-12)’s crew worked on clean up of Fire Station Number Three in the St. Bernard’s Parish section here.
One group of Sailors drove the station’s fire truck on water runs throughout the battered neighborhood filling the truck with water from various fire hydrants. Once back at the station with hoses connected, the Sailors’ first actions were to spray clean the American and fire station flags and hoist them on the pole in front of the station. They then tackled the station’s interior, directing powerful streams of water against black slime caked everywhere. The irony of using a station’s own fire truck and hoses on the building itself was not lost on the team.
After most of the mud was washed off the walls and office interior, Sailors manually hauled furniture, office equipment, and fire-fighting gear outside. They created several mounds of wet, dirtied and destroyed items, which until the storm hit, had been in fairly new condition.
“Fire Station Number Three was just remodeled about a year ago, because it’d been nearly destroyed by termites,” said Captain Rodney Ourso of the St Bernard’s Parish Fire Department. “We’re really thankful for what they’re doing,” referring to the crew’s efforts.
SHREVEPORT Sailors were grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the community’s recovery. “I’ve never seen any disaster like this,” said Information Technician First Class (Surface Warfare) Henry Tift, a Brooklyn, NY. native. As he enjoyed an MRE for lunch after 4 hours of work and with his uniform caked with mud, Tift said he was glad he could volunteer his help. “This is what I love doing - I don’t mind getting dirty.”
As occasional trucks carrying civilian workers supporting the city’s recovery drove by, some drivers stopped in the muddy street and asked the Sailors for an MRE and bottled water. Tift was more than happy to oblige.
Among those who stopped included firefighters from Station Number Three. They were happy to see their flag flying again and are “really appreciative of what we’re doing to help restore their firehouse,” said Hull Technician Third Class Kyle Bouer of Galion, OH.
During a water break later as the group admired the result of their hard work, Ensign Brendon Key put things in perspective about the required effort ahead for New Orleans’ full recovery, “Wow, this is just one building, and it’s a big city out there.”
Other crewmembers also helped St. Bernard’s firefighters and city officials the same day. The ship’s barber and hospital corpsman provided their services in response to the firefighters’ request. Approximately 20 other SHREVEPORT Sailors with shovels, brooms and supplies in tow reported to the St. Bernard Parish Court House for an afternoon of cleaning.
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Thread: Navy Helps NOLA Fire Station
09-13-2005, 11:30 AM #1
Navy Helps NOLA Fire StationStay Safe and Well Out There....
Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers
09-15-2005, 06:31 PM #2
I am glad that these Sailors got in there and help clean up a station or two. From what I have read today, there is close to half of their stations that were destroyed! I think most of the apparatus were saved.OUTSTANDING
Make It Happen
Never forget 9-11-2001
343 Brothers Who Were MURDERED!!
09-16-2005, 06:44 AM #3
- Join Date
- Jan 2004
- Santa Rosa County, Florida
NAS Pensacola gave 3 of our Fire apparatus to NAS New Orleans on Wednesday. We also sent 12 personnel to Naval Station Pascagoula and CBC Gulf Port to help the base the personnel out in the county. We will rotate crews back home every 2 weeks for the next 3 to 6 months.
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