1. #1
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    Default Let's face reality

    Fiction -
    This is the worst/strongest storm ever to hit the gulf states.
    Fact -
    Camille was stronger and did more damage. Recovery was just cheaper in 1969.

    Fiction -
    New Orleans was hardest hit.
    Fact -
    Most of the damage done by Katrina was in Mississippi.
    New Orleans is suffering from flooding caused by mismanagement of funds and failure to keep up the levees and pumps. Some of which were inoperable for over 4 years.

    Fiction -
    FEMA and National Guard had to save the day for Mississippi.
    Fact -
    Most of the recovery work was done by LOCAL personnel. VFD's did an enormous amount of work within the first 8 hours after landfall.

    Fiction -
    The fedgov swooped down and made everything better.
    Fact -
    The red tape is still causing problems this far out. The response was more effective by "CIVIL DEFENSE" in 1969.

    Fiction -
    The politicians, Dems or Repubs, are to blame for what went wrong.
    Fact -
    Hurricanes are a fact of life. They came in the past, they came this year, they'll come in the future. It's just nature. It's noone's fault.

    Fiction -
    Firefighters and EMT's were not trained for an event such as this.
    Fact -
    These storms hit with regularity. We expect them. We train for them. We equip for them. We did an outstanding job, with what was left, to restore some type of order well in advance of the fedgov's arrival.

    Fiction -
    Noone needs to "self dispatch" to the area.
    Fact -
    Personnel were needed from the day before the storm hit. Everyone who could help should have been put into service. NIMS and ICS guidelines would have allowed for infinite numbers if implemented properly. Failure to believe that we could organize groups into a coordinated response.
    The only failure was when they underestimated our abilities to do as we are trained.

    Fiction -
    FEMA trained responders are the only ones who know what to do.
    Fact -
    I'd take a dozen volunteers over all of the FEMA help we got anyday.
    The ones who made it before they were turned around did more to help than any of you will ever know.
    The ones who tried would have been a God send.
    Nothing beats stronger than the heart of a Volunteer. It would do the powers that be to realize this. You can't pay for that kind of dedication.

    Fiction -
    There's a difference in "US" on this board because some are 'yankees" and some "suthnr's", or because some are paid and some "volunteer".
    Fact -
    We are all of us cut from the same cloth. Red blooded Americans who desire only to help others and save lives.
    Some of us fight fire in "short sleeve britches" in January, Some of us drive behind the snowplows in April to get to calls.
    Some "Pahk the Cah", and some say "gnarly dude". And some say "Git R' Done" and "ya'll".
    Some get paid really well, Some don't get paid at all cause there's no possible way.
    But, we're all the same. We're brothers and sisters in a chosen field that few will ever understand. Or try to. And when buildings get knocked down, Hurricanes come ashore, or the ground trembles and brings destruction, we stick together at the basic level and support one another.
    That's something the beurocrats will never understand cause they don't do it.
    And when we see something happen, we all vibrate with adrenalin to go do what we do best. What we should be allowed to do. Our jobs.

    To all who came to help, THANK YOU
    To all who tried and weren't allowed, THANK YOU
    To all who wanted to but couldn't, THANK YOU
    And I hope it's not the only time it gets said.

  2. #2
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    Very well said.............................
    Chief
    Wren Volunteer Fire Department
    IACOJ
    Southern Division

    http://www.wrenfiredepartment.4t.com/

    In Memory of:
    FireFighter/Pilot James Archer
    1946-2005
    "Rest in peace James, you now have the ultimate set of wings on you."

    Thanks, LeuitEFDems

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MarionMedic
    Fiction -
    There's a difference in "US" on this board because some are 'yankees" and some "suthnr's", or because some are paid and some "volunteer".
    Fact -
    We are all of us cut from the same cloth. Red blooded Americans who desire only to help others and save lives.
    Some of us fight fire in "short sleeve britches" in January, Some of us drive behind the snowplows in April to get to calls.
    Some "Pahk the Cah", and some say "gnarly dude". And some say "Git R' Done" and "ya'll".
    Some get paid really well, Some don't get paid at all cause there's no possible way.
    But, we're all the same. We're brothers and sisters in a chosen field that few will ever understand. Or try to. And when buildings get knocked down, Hurricanes come ashore, or the ground trembles and brings destruction, we stick together at the basic level and support one another.
    That's something the beurocrats will never understand cause they don't do it.
    And when we see something happen, we all vibrate with adrenalin to go do what we do best. What we should be allowed to do. Our jobs.
    Truer words could not be written my friend. Thank You.
    Jeremy Quist
    Chief
    LVFD
    Laurel, NE

    Not the end of the earth, but you can see clods falling off from here.

  4. #4
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    Default thanks brother

    Your thoughts and words could not ring more true.

    Thanks for taking the time to share what we all should feel.

    I am proud to be a Volunteer Firefighter and stand beside fellow brothers.

    EGH PTB
    --
    e.g.h.
    Matt

  5. #5
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    Default

    Fiction- the responce from the federal government and outside agencies took way too long.
    Fact- The respince by FEMA and others was a week faster then any help from anyone after the tsunami hit Asia, faster then help got to Hurricane Andrew or Hugo victems, it only seemed longer due to the advent of 24/7 TV News.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  6. #6
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    Default

    I could not have said it better. Thank you.

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up

    THANK YOU for your very realistic comments!
    Developer and Sr. Presenter, Team Xtreme
    BIG RIG RESCUE

  8. #8
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    Default

    Here we are 4 months out from this mess.

    I still mean every word I said.

    Thank you all.

  9. #9
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    Keep the faith Brother. I saw. I believe.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  10. #10
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    Thumbs down You got most wrong.....

    I am a Gulfport firefighter / paramedic and have lived on the coast most of my life. I have been with the GFD for 15 years... I worked 8 days straight starting form 1800 hrs that Sunday night.

    wrong.....

    Fiction -
    This is the worst/strongest storm ever to hit the Gulf States.
    Fact -
    Camille was stronger and did more damage. Recovery was just cheaper in 1969.
    *****Camille was stronger far as wind but had a 15' less tidal surge....witch did most of the damage. Katrina did 100 times more damage then Camille becuase of the tital surge and size of the strorm and the 10 hours of hurrican strenght wind. I know I have lived here for 30 years. Not the northern part of the state.*****

    true!!

    fiction -
    new Orleans was hardest hit.
    fact -
    most of the damage done by Katrina was in Mississippi.
    new Orleans is suffering from flooding caused by mismanagement of funds and failure to keep up the levees and pumps. some of which were inoperable for over 4 years.

    mostly wrong.

    fiction -
    FEMA and national guard had to save the day for Mississippi.
    fact -
    most of the recovery work was done by local personnel. VFD'S did an enormous amount of work within the first 8 hours after landfall.

    ****local personnel did a lot but most of the search of the most devastating areas were done by the FEMA 1 teams. I was in the ICS for FEMA / Harrison county at the Harrison county court house for the Gulfport fire department... and got daily updates for all the FD's on the coast in Harrison and Handcok counties.


    wrong
    fiction -
    the fedgov swooped down and made everything better.
    fact -
    the red tape is still causing problems this far out. the response was more effective by "civil defense" in 1969.
    *****the FEMA 1 teams i.e. Florida task force 1 came in the next day and made a tremendous difference. the 1st couple of day's were spent just trying to survive (water food looter stealing everything not strapped down to your trucks) until the national guard set up.

    true

    fiction -
    the politicians, dems or repubs, are to blame for what went wrong.
    fact -
    hurricanes are a fact of life. they came in the past, they came this year, and they’ll come in the future. it's just nature. it's noone's fault.

    true

    fiction -
    firefighters and EMT were not trained for an event such as this.
    fact -
    these storms hit with regularity. we expect them. we train for them. we equip for them. we did an outstanding job, with what was left, to restore some type of order well in advance of the fedgov's arrival.

    false and wrong
    fiction -
    noone needs to "self dispatch" to the area.
    fact -
    personnel were needed from the day before the storm hit. everyone who could help should have been put into service. nims and ics guidelines would have allowed for infinite numbers if implemented properly. failure to believe that we could organize groups into a coordinated response.
    the only failure was when they underestimated our abilities to do as we are trained.
    ***we did not have enough supplies for the amount of people coming... the majority of the people who self dispatched were not self sufficent. the majority of the self dispatched people were not plugged into the ICS. we had more firefighters from all over the US that were sent from FEMA and MEMA then you could possible imagine. but that said FEMA and MEMA did have a few blunders right at the beginning but worked through them quickly. for the most part the self dispatched ff were more of a hindrance....

    some what true

    fiction -
    FEMA trained responders are the only ones who know what to do.
    fact -
    I’d take a dozen volunteers over all of the FEMA help we got any day.
    the ones who made it before they were turned around did more to help than any of you will ever know.
    the ones who tried would have been a god send.
    nothing beats stronger than the heart of a volunteer. it would do the powers that be to realize this. you can't pay for that kind of dedication.

    ***FEMA 1 teams were very well trained and a huge help.... the volunteers were just as helpful and trained. but the FEMA team were better set up with equipment and supplies and more specialized in their rolls of USAR.

    True….True…True
    to all who came to help, thank you
    to all who tried and weren't allowed, thank you
    to all who wanted to but couldn't, thank you
    and I hope it's not the only time it gets said.
    Last edited by DixieFire53; 01-28-2006 at 12:18 AM. Reason: Spelling
    DixieFire53, Deputy Fire Chief FF/EMT-P, Local 272

  11. #11
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    I won't argue on this board.
    But, facts speak for themselves, and no amount of "party line FEMA rhetoric" is going to change the reality of what happened, the response, or who actually responded.
    In fact, the current most popular bumper sticker on the MS gulf coast is "FEMA - Federal Emergency Management My *****".
    Nope, the truth will not be silenced.

    The only TWO points I will speak to are these......

    "*****Camille was stronger far as wind"

    Yep. That's what I said.


    "I know I have lived here for 30 years. Not the northern part of the state.*****"

    True, I NOW live in East Central part of State.
    But when Camille Hit in 1969 (36 years ago), I was living "down there".
    She is, and always will be, very vivid in my memories.
    I believe anyone who can read a map will see I'm not now in the northern part of MS.

    That said, I hope all is well and getting better for you and yours down there.

  12. #12
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    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by MarionMedic
    In fact, the current most popular bumper sticker on the MS gulf coast is "FEMA - Federal Emergency Management My *****".
    Nope, the truth will not be silenced.
    That is true but they are speaking of the aid from flooding after the worst disaster in US history. Not the Emergency response from the rescuers. The FEMA and MEMA dispatched rescuers were awesome and this disaster could not have been mitigated with out them. They did an awesome job. let not confuse the FEMA aid and the FEMA emergency response.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarionMedic
    That said, I hope all is well and getting better for you and yours down there.
    Thank you very much. Hope all is well up there.
    Last edited by DixieFire53; 01-29-2006 at 10:10 AM. Reason: spelling
    DixieFire53, Deputy Fire Chief FF/EMT-P, Local 272

  13. #13
    capfiremedic
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    Default

    Ya, CAMILLE had a little more wind, not that much... But it didn't have anywhere Near the effect that KATRINA did. CAMILLE didn't destroy anywhere as many homes, flood as much land, kill as many people... and that ain't goverment rhetoric ma'am, that's cold hard fact. I know, I was digging out bodies as soon as the storm passed and I could dig my way out of my house, in which i was SWIMMING as the eastern eyewall passed over my town (Bay St. Louis). Let's pass on this foolish B.S. and worry more about people and Emergency Personnel that are still suffering. Isn't that more important than one-upmanship in a magazine forum?

  14. #14
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    Having lost a home to Hurricane Andrew that led me to start with US&R down here, then seeing it during the wild fires in Central Florida and then at the Trade Centers and then for Hurricanes Charlie and Ivan, then Katrina (I think you all get the picture) and so on and so on...It never will cease to amaze me, seeing the dedication of the local FD's-paid and volunteer-that when it hits the fan and these folks have nothing, and I mean nothing left of their lives; that they're able to hold it together and work at their job helping their communities during these disasters. We were in Gulfport for 2 weeks following the storm (and that was after Katrina rolled through South Florida and kicked our *****es) and I had never seen destruction like that before. When we arrived at the port the day after the storm hit, we were met by many, many FD personnel from the surrounding areas looking to assist. All we had to offer was some equipment and a little organization, all they had to offer was manpower and a willingness to help out the community. I got to hand it to you Gulfport firefighters, you guys were there trying to cope with your own situations and yet, day after day, you all were at the EOC and out at Waveland with us and all around the area getting things done. I gotta hand it to you all. We worked Gulfport and Pass Christian and Bay St. Louis and Long Beach and Biloxi, and it was worse than anyone could think. Being in the FEMA system, I can tell you that the ESF-9 portion of the system worked like it was supposed to within the confines set by FEMA. It was "improvise, adapt and overcome" the whole time, but at least we still had something to come back to. FL-TF2 was the TF out at Waveland, TF1 (Miami-Dade) was tasked to New Orleans, TF-2 went on to spend another 2 weeks at NO after MS and it was more of the same. I can't speak for the other support functions, but I do know that the Coast Guard was there as always humping it with everybody else and that was after the station at the port got wiped out along with all the folks inside.
    Like I said, having lost everything to Andrew; I can tell you all that it will get better, someday. What is important will be there, what wasn't important can be repaired or replaced. It's just time, Brothers, it's just take time...hang in there and be proud for the job that you all did and continue to do.

  15. #15
    capfiremedic
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    Default

    LT, I've said it before, and I'll say it again... without the help of all of our brothers and sisters, we wouldn't have made it. As far as I'm concerned, I owe my life to FL DMAT-1. I just wish I could remember all the agencies that contributed manpower, material and moral support throughout the ordeal and continue to provicde that support as we speak. I was humbled by the concern and strength shown to us. We held it together because we KNEW our emergency service family would not stand by and let us die. You know when I really knew the cavalry had come? This may sound a little stupid, but when I saw an NYPD ESU truck patrolling Bay St. Louis, I knew we had the entire nation helping.

    The military, firefighters, EMS providers and by no means least the Law Enforcement Officers were a God send to us.

    WE TOO SHALL NEVER FORGET!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by capfiremedic
    The military, firefighters, EMS providers and by no means least the Law Enforcement Officers were a God send to us.

    WE TOO SHALL NEVER FORGET!
    And Once again thank you rescue10lt! Yall were awsome! Tell chief jaun and hullio<??spelling Hello form Gulfport
    DixieFire53, Deputy Fire Chief FF/EMT-P, Local 272

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    excellent post... well said brother........

  18. #18
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    Default Some more reality

    (AP) WASHINGTON In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage.

    Bush didn't ask a single question during the final briefing before Katrina struck on Aug. 29, but he assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared."

    The footage -- along with seven days of transcripts of briefings obtained by The Associated Press -- show in excruciating detail that while federal officials anticipated the tragedy that unfolded in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, they were fatally slow to realize they had not mustered enough resources to deal with the unprecedented disaster.

    Linked by secure video, Bush's confidence on Aug. 28 starkly contrasts with the dire warnings his disaster chief and a cacophony of federal, state and local officials provided during the four days before the storm.

    A top hurricane expert voiced "grave concerns" about the levees and then-Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown told the president and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff that he feared there weren't enough disaster teams to help evacuees at the Superdome.

    "I'm concerned about ... their ability to respond to a catastrophe within a catastrophe," Brown told his bosses the afternoon before Katrina made landfall.

    Some of the footage and transcripts from briefings Aug. 25-31 conflicts with the defenses that federal, state and local officials have made in trying to deflect blame and minimize the political fallout from the failed Katrina response:

    --Homeland Security officials have said the "fog of war" blinded them early on to the magnitude of the disaster. But the video and transcripts show federal and local officials discussed threats clearly, reviewed long-made plans and understood Katrina would wreak devastation of historic proportions. "I'm sure it will be the top 10 or 15 when all is said and done," National Hurricane Center's Max Mayfield warned the day Katrina lashed the Gulf Coast.

    "I don't buy the `fog of war' defense," Brown told the AP in an interview Wednesday. "It was a fog of bureaucracy."

    --Bush declared four days after the storm, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees" that gushed deadly flood waters into New Orleans. But the transcripts and video show there was plenty of talk about that possibility -- and Bush was worried too.

    White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Brown discussed fears of a levee breach the day the storm hit.

    "I talked to the president twice today, once in Crawford and then again on Air Force One," Brown said. "He's obviously watching the television a lot, and he had some questions about the Dome, he's asking questions about reports of breaches."

    --Louisiana officials angrily blamed the federal government for not being prepared but the transcripts shows they were still praising FEMA as the storm roared toward the Gulf Coast and even two days afterward. "I think a lot of the planning FEMA has done with us the past year has really paid off," Col. Jeff Smith, Louisiana's emergency preparedness deputy director, said during the Aug. 28 briefing.

    It wasn't long before Smith and other state officials sounded overwhelmed.

    "We appreciate everything that you all are doing for us, and all I would ask is that you realize that what's going on and the sense of urgency needs to be ratcheted up," Smith said Aug. 30.

    Mississippi begged for more attention in that same briefing.

    "We know that there are tens or hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana that need to be rescued, but we would just ask you, we desperately need to get our share of assets because we'll have people dying -- not because of water coming up, but because we can't get them medical treatment in our affected counties," said a Mississippi state official whose name was not mentioned on the tape.

    Video footage of the Aug. 28 briefing, the final one before Katrina struck, showed an intense Brown voicing concerns from the government's disaster operation center and imploring colleagues to do whatever was necessary to help victims.

    "We're going to need everything that we can possibly muster, not only in this state and in the region, but the nation, to respond to this event," Brown warned. He called the storm "a bad one, a big one" and implored federal agencies to cut through red tape to help people, bending rules if necessary.

    "Go ahead and do it," Brown said. "I'll figure out some way to justify it. ... Just let them yell at me."

    Bush appeared from a narrow, windowless room at his vacation ranch in Texas, with his elbows on a table. Hagin was sitting alongside him. Neither asked questions in the Aug. 28 briefing.

    "I want to assure the folks at the state level that we are fully prepared to not only help you during the storm, but we will move in whatever resources and assets we have at our disposal after the storm," the president said.

    A relaxed Chertoff, sporting a polo shirt, weighed in from Washington at Homeland Security's operations center. He would later fly to Atlanta, outside of Katrina's reach, for a bird flu event.

    One snippet captures a missed opportunity on Aug. 28 for the government to have dispatched active-duty military troops to the region to augment the National Guard.

    Chertoff: "Are there any DOD assets that might be available? Have we reached out to them?"

    Brown: "We have DOD assets over here at EOC (emergency operations center). They are fully engaged. And we are having those discussions with them now."

    Chertoff: "Good job."

    In fact, active duty troops weren't dispatched until days after the storm. And many states' National Guards had yet to be deployed to the region despite offers of assistance, and it took days before the Pentagon deployed active-duty personnel to help overwhelmed Guardsmen.

    The National Hurricane Center's Mayfield told the final briefing before Katrina struck that storm models predicted minimal flooding inside New Orleans during the hurricane but he expressed concerns that counterclockwise winds and storm surges afterward could cause the levees at Lake Pontchartrain to be overrun.

    "I don't think any model can tell you with any confidence right now whether the levees will be topped or not but that is obviously a very, very grave concern," Mayfield told the briefing.

    Other officials expressed concerns about the large number of New Orleans residents who had not evacuated.

    "They're not taking patients out of hospitals, taking prisoners out of prisons and they're leaving hotels open in downtown New Orleans. So I'm very concerned about that," Brown said.

    Despite the concerns, it ultimately took days for search and rescue teams to reach some hospitals and nursing homes.

    Brown also told colleagues one of his top concerns was whether evacuees who went to the New Orleans Superdome -- which became a symbol of the failed Katrina response -- would be safe and have adequate medical care.

    "The Superdome is about 12 feet below sea level.... I don't know whether the roof is designed to stand, withstand a Category Five hurricane," he said.

    Brown also wanted to know whether there were enough federal medical teams in place to treat evacuees and the dead in the Superdome.

    "Not to be (missing) kind of gross here," Brown interjected, "but I'm concerned" about the medical and mortuary resources "and their ability to respond to a catastrophe within a catastrophe."
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    I have family in Gulfport, They lived on Joseph ave till the storm. Before the storm I had called the local firehouse in Gulfport, up in Boston we had been getting reports but I needed to hear what the locals had been hearing. I spoke with a firefighter, sorry but I was not able to catch his name...You all talk funny!!!

    I just want to say thank you for everything you have done, Please let us know if there is anything we can still do for you all.

    Dave
    Boston fire dept
    Rescue 2

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bostonjake1240
    ...You all talk funny!!!
    That would be "Yall" Talk Funny

    How is your family doing? The south part of Joseph Ave was completely wiped out.

    How does "Yall" translate in Boston? is it "you guys" or "yout guys"?
    DixieFire53, Deputy Fire Chief FF/EMT-P, Local 272

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    Quote Originally Posted by DixieFire53
    That would be "Yall" Talk Funny

    How is your family doing? The south part of Joseph Ave was completely wiped out.

    How does "Yall" translate in Boston? is it "you guys" or "yout guys"?

    I had to throw that in...Not too often I can get away with it!!

    It took us about a week and a half to talk to her, after about 4 days she made contact on our voice mail but the cell phone went dead. She lived close to the water on Jospeh Ave, every thing was gone. She is doing better, but is still without a permanant home. No FEMA trailer yet!! We had planned on coming down, but with no place to stay....we might have to hold off.


    I can always tell when the wife is ****ed at me....she converts back to that southern talkand feeds me grits and collard greens, When she does that I know I have crossed the line

    Dave

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