1. #1
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    Default To ALL the FireFighters who responded to Katrina...

    Im looking for opinions from guys/girls who responded to the devasting effects of hurricane katrina. Not disrespect to you who havent gone, but Im looking for ONLY the input of guys THAT WERE THERE.

    In class we have a paper due in about two weeks, about how things could be better prepared for another instance of that nature. Ive heard some of the war stories on how it could be differant, but they were from guys who DIDNT respond and what they thot and over heard from guys..( And you know how the operator game goes)..

    Anyways.. All the help, notes and bits of info you could offer would be great...

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    I was not in NewOrleans. I stayed at my firehouse in pearl river about 30 miles North East of NewOrleans. Just North of Slidell LA. In my area to be better prepared we needed:

    1. Fuel Stores: (Had to pump deisel off of a freight train that was parked in the town)
    2. Better generators: (Our generator did not run anything but the radio and a few lights/ fridge)
    3. More medical supplies ( we had to turn ppl down if it was not absolutly life or death) Broken arms, legs, ect just had to eat alot of asprin and ice it.
    4. Hospitals. ( Our hospitals were overwhelmed within hours and turned away people unless life or death)
    5. Chainsaws ( We had roof venting chain saws that could not cut it against large pines and oaks.)
    6.Evacuation awareness ( If everyone listined to the evacuation orders then alot of ppl would have been alot better off including the firefighters because we would have less casualties to worry about)
    7. We had no contact with the outside world for a week. We needed a way to make contact other than phone. Our radios were not strong enough and cell phones /land lines were useless to us. Needed underground phone lines or another way to call out.

    thats all i can think of right now. I will post more if i can think about it.
    hope it helps you out.

    My departments main problem was: We did not have enough medical supplies to last us 2+ weeks in that environment with no hospitals. Life or death situations we were able to take care of but minor injuries such as broken bones were left to fend for themselves.

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    Coincidentally, i just came across a document that passed by my desk in baton rouge. I was the DEMOB supervisor there at the JFO after 3 months in New Orleans. The author of this document was one of the executive staff of Task Force 83. I contacted him 2 days ago asking his permission to post it on my site, i would post it here but it is quite long and would take up PAGES in the forum. It is full of recommendations starting with the initial call out, to the final stages of going home. Its posted on the home page at Fire Exec.com Hope its helpful to you.
    Doug
    Doug Velting Jr
    President Cassville Volunteer Fire Co
    dougvelting@fireexec.com
    www.cassvillefire.org
    Fire Exec .com

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    Default After action report

    This maybe too late for your paper bt others may find it interesting. It's my after action report to FEMA following my 30 days. Any questions/ comments can be sent to
    Bob Pratt
    rpratt@ci.east-lansing.mi.us


    Firefighter Field Experience Debriefing

    Where was your unit or group deployed?

    Six days in Atlanta (09/08/05-09/13/05)
    Two days in Baton Rouge (09/13/05-09/15/05)
    Twelve days in Bogalusa (09/16/05-09/28/05)
    Ten days in New Orleans (09/28/05-10/08/05)


    What location(s) did your group travel and what assignment(s) were they tasked with?

    Atlanta (09/08/05-09/13/05) Flew to Atlanta from Lansing Michigan. Processed and trained in community relations (three days), waited for deployment (three days).

    Baton Rouge (09/13/05-09/15/05) Drove (caravan) from Atlanta to Baton Rouge. Received additional ½ day CR training. TASK: went door to door with public hearing notices in Baker, LA. TASK: drove (caravan) to Bogalusa with F.E.M.A. rep. stopped at Red Cross shelter and Office of Emergency Planning (OEP), then drove back to Baton Rouge.

    Bogalusa (09/16/05-09/28/05) TASK: unclear, so we made contact with Red Cross shelter met immediate needs, surveyed needs/resources in area, found billeting, contacted team leader for additional resources and tasks. TASK: Door to door collection/ dissemination of information.

    New Orleans (09/28/05-10/08/05) TASK: Door to door data collection and information dissemination.


    What positive practices did your group witness?


    FIREFIGHTERS TAKING INITIATIVE

    Atlanta
    -While awaiting deployment, firefighters volunteered at the DRC (disaster relief center) or at local fire stations.

    Bogalsa
    -Firefighters imbedded in a Red Cross shelter. This allowed us to contact greater numbers of ‘shelterees’ because many were not at the shelter during the day. It also allowed us to assist people with critical needs. Our paramedics assisted the Red Cross nurses daily and were able to transport an elderly woman to the hospital in the middle of the night.

    -Firefighters meeting the immediate needs of the people they came in contact with, while doing the ‘FEMA’ task. Firefighters loaded up their cars with food/water etc. and distributed it to those in need. When special needs (medicine, O2, medical emergencies) were encountered, we developed a system to meet those needs. We also developed a system to check that those needs were actually met if they were passed to another agency.

    -Firefighters attending church service. This allowed us to meet with large numbers of people, exchange information and show a human side to FEMA. This also allowed us to obtain information about special needs.

    -Firefighters routinely used down time in a productive manner. When FEMA did not have work for us we; cut trees off of houses, built a wheelchair ramp for a disabled person, gutted the house of a pastor that had been flooded, we obtained a shower for a Red Cross shelter that needed it. There was so much down time that we accomplished more ‘off duty’ than on.

    -Firefighters spending their own monies to buy supplies for themselves and those in need. When the cell phone system failed, firefighters purchased portable radios. When chain saws became dull, we purchased new blades. When we found the shelter lacked smoke detection, we provided it. If there was a need we did our best to fill it.


    New Orleans
    -Allowing non-traditional groups to work with firefighters was certainly positive. A group of Peace Corp workers were assigned to our group and brought a great deal of dedication and compassion to our group.

    -Upon finding people staying in New Orleans with a shortage of food/water [dog food] firefighters returned daily with supplies (often at personal expense).

    -Firefighters found and met whatever needs presented themselves including: contacting rescue agencies for stray animals, removing vehicles for areas so trailers might be brought in, cutting trees, tarping roofs, removing refrigerators. If it needed to be done the teams found a way to do it AND get the FEMA job done.

    -Teams often stopped by shelters and churches ‘after hours’ to assist in unloading supplies, distributing ice/food/water, assisting in food prep… if it needed to be done, there were teams willing to do it.


    NETWORKING

    Atlanta
    -Exchanged names and phone numbers with lots of firefighters, this allowed us to communicate with teams operating in other regions and learn from each other.

    Bogalusa
    -Initial reconnaissance of the Parish allowed us to create a list of diverse agencies working in the area. This list was updated daily and given to team members. As we went door to door if a citizen had a question we, more than likely had the number of a person that could help.
    These lists (with our numbers added) were passed on to other agencies in the area. Needs were quickly assessed and disseminated to people who had the power to immediately correct them. By the end of our stay the list was several pages long. By networking effectively, somebody knew how to contact the appropriate people for every need we found.
    As we contacted people we would ask their most immediate needs, we then assisted them in meeting this need (electricity, roof tarps etc…) after we contacted the agency that could help them the most, they were much more receptive to our inquiries.


    New Orleans
    -Reconnaissance continued; a phone list was created for N.O. As an example of it’s usefulness: when we encountered a stray dog I had a 40 min. phone conversation with ASPCA (outsourced to Pakistan) the operator explained that he would pass along the info. After we obtained a local rescue agencies phone number the animals were picked up within the hour. After several attempts to report water main breaks; being transferred or cut off several times, we obtained the direct numbers from the workers in the street and called them directly. We had no further problems.




    CO-OPERATION BETWEEN GOVERNMENTAL AND NON-GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES (NGO’s)

    Bogalusa
    -Red Cross officials allowing FEMA people to stay at the shelter. (See above)

    -Army Corp of Engineers people working with FEMA people to streamline the roof-tarping procedure. The Corp. required people come in and sign consent forms before sending teams out. Unfortunately many people had no transportation into the A.C. of E. office, so as we went door to door with the FEMA information we also took A.C. of E. forms, assisted filling out the forms and dropped them off later in the day at the Corp. office.

    -Several food distribution centers allowed us to fill our vehicles with supplies so that when we encountered people in need me could meet those needs.

    -Hospitals working with FEMA to get medicines to people without transportation. Early in our deployment to Bogalusa we found a critical shortage of citizen’s medicines. There were no pharmacies open and many people lacked transportation to the hospital. By working with the hospital we were able to get prescriptions filled and deliver them to the people.

    -The hospital also allowed us to stay at the hospital when our numbers grew too large for the shelter. A local church also allowed 24 of us to stay at a residence for visiting pastors. There were no hotels available in Bogalusa.



    New Orleans
    Several NGOs (Red Cross/ Pastor Brown’s Church) allowed us to stock up on supplies and deliver them to people in the city as needed.


    What negative practices did your group witness?

    ATTITUDE and CULTURE

    Atlanta
    -Firefighters spent down time counterproductively. Many firefighters drank excessively and publicly criticized FEMA. Often while wearing department shirts. Several firefighters contacted Firehouse magazine or their local media outlets to complain.

    -Lack of a consistent message. We were told several versions of the deployment process and given three different ways to fill out timesheets. Each JOC told us we were doing time sheets incorrectly, and we needed to do them their way or risk not getting paid.
    We were told we would be deployed ‘tomorrow’ several days in a row.

    Baton Rouge
    -Lack of a clear command structure. Ironically, this followed FEMA training on unified command. We were bounced around the B.R.-JOC for several hours being told conflicting things; no one knew who we were to report to or who was in charge. NOTE: This changed in Bogalusa (Washington Parish OEP) and New Orleans (TF 83). Firefighters rely on a very clear command structure. They are accustomed to timely reassignment following the completion of a task. They are used to working long hours under adverse conditions. The fact that FEMA implied these conditions in the recruitment letter resulted in an action oriented mindset among the firefighters. We were ready to stay wherever, eat whatever and do whatever was needed, the FEMA people on the other hand, seemed ready to stay only in comfortable accommodations, eat only at restaurants and to do only what they were told to do.
    Putting two firefighters with two FEMA reps was counter productive, it was clear that despite the ‘unified command’ class, there was no command structure and it felt as if the FEMA people saw the firefighters as a burden; we just tagged along as FEMA went about its work. Our first day in Bogalusa, we followed our FEMA contact from Port Allen to Bogalusa and did nothing but waste time and gasoline.
    Firefighters tend to be goal oriented people, FEMA people tend to be process oriented people, and this combined with the lack of a command structure resulted in animosity and distrust. Following suggestions for more efficient operations FEMA officials complained that “the fire departments are taking over”. When an assignment was completed the firefighters were anxious to get on to the next task. FEMA officials seemed disappointed that we finished ahead of projections and told us to wait until the time period given for the task was over before being reassigned. At one point we were told to slow down. Firefighters were interested in getting the job done ASAP; it seemed many FEMA people were interested in allowing the disaster to take a prolonged course.

    We were led ‘caravan style’ to several locations without knowing where we were going or for what purpose. At times there might be 10-12 cars in the caravan. This is dangerous. Firefighters tend to be pretty good with a map; tell us where were going and we’ll meet you there.


    LOGISTICS

    Atlanta
    -Idle time: There were areas (like the Atlanta DRC) that really needed assistance badly while less than a mile away hundreds of firefighters were sitting idle complaining to national media outlets that they had nothing to do but sit around and drink. Many firefighters took the initiative to find work, but FEMA could have done a better job of working with other agencies.


    Baton Rouge
    -Travel: Our FEMA contacts in Baton Rouge (Bob & Mildred) wanted us to drive from B.R. to Bogalusa (250 miles round trip) every day. They also wanted us to leave Bogalusa by 1500hrs because traffic would be ‘too bad’ if we waited until 1700hrs. Our task in Bogalusa was to make contact with the Red Cross shelter, obtain and disseminate information, and then pass this information to the Office of Emergency Planning (OEP) also in Bogalusa. This task was accomplished in less than an hour; we spent 5 hours on the road that day. When we suggested that we could save time and gasoline by staying in Bogalusa, Bob reported that there were no hotels or restaurants operating there. When we suggested that we could stay at the shelter and eat at the food distribution center, he became angry and said we could go but he wouldn’t be joining us.

    New Orleans
    -Billeting: Firefighters staying at private residences while the cruise ship was 25% filled and the tent city was <20% filled. This wasted $75 per FF per night X thousands of firefighters. This is a HUGE waste and should be unacceptable.

    UNDERUTILIZATION OF SKILLS

    Please understand that I knew fully well my “job” was community relations, that’s a big reason my department sent me. I had no expectation of doing rescue or suppression work, but I’m also a paramedic, when confronted with a sick or injured person I will help them. One of the groups I supervised were wildland firefighters from Montana they spend their careers cutting trees, yet FEMA gave orders not to cut trees off of houses at the same time they were telling us to slow down or that they didn’t have any work for us for several days.
    There is no reason that the FEMA ‘job’ could not be carried out concurrently with feeding, supplying water and meeting the needs of the community. We did just that in Bogalusa on a daily basis. There is little use in handing a FEMA flyer to someone who hasn’t eaten for several days. When we first fed them, or supplied them with water or the forms for the Army Corp of Engineers, or just listening to their story… after they realized we were really there to help, they were more receptive to the FEMA message.






    What could your group have been done to make things better?

    Atlanta
    -Found more positive activities while waiting for FEMA to assign us tasks. There was always opportunity to assist (directly or indirectly), whether loading supply trucks headed for New Orleans or handing out food at the Atlanta DRC.

    Baton Rouge
    -Recognized the different mindset of the FEMA employees and lobbied for a task force style deployment sooner. The less interaction with low level FEMA and firefighters the better. We should have insisted on a ‘unified command’. Once we were allowed to function as a task force we were much more effective.

    Bogalusa
    Acted as a conduit for NGO’s: because we went door to door, we were exposed to a segment of the population no other group encountered. While we were successful in helping them with their immediate needs, if we had more direct NGO information/contact this effort could have been expanded and been even more successful.


    What could have FEMA have done to make things better?

    Atlanta
    Worked with local agencies putting the hundreds of firefighters to work doing anything!
    The idle time was counterproductive because we all watched in horror what was unfolding in N.O. many drank and sat around the bar complaining. Had we been given even menial tasks around the city we would have felt like we were at least contributing.

    Baton Rouge
    -Discipline: There seems to be no discipline for FEMA workers, in fact there seems to be a culture that promotes inefficiency and ineffectiveness as a way to prolong the disaster and its paychecks.
    -Command: FEMA should use a true unified command. There should be a clear command structure. Incoming people should know who to report at the JOC, and be assigned a commander throughout the deployment.
    -Communication: There should be clear and consistent communication, both for workers and for people affected by the disaster. We unknowingly passed on false information on several occasions.

    New Orleans
    Make workers stay in the tent cities as long as there is space available, hundreds of FEMA workers staying at private residences for hundreds of dollars is unacceptable.


    Additional comments


    Suggestions for the future:

    Utilize the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
    Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (2003) mandates its use. Had it been used, many of the above problems would have been eliminated, firefighters by the hundreds would have been used in an effective manner and would not have left and returned home out of frustration before their 30 days was complete.

    Return FEMA to a stand alone cabinet level position and reorganize it. The logical agency to head this effort is the National Fire Academy (or its sister organization the Emergency management Institute). The Coast Guard is the only military agency that should be considered for any primary roll in domestic disasters. Trained first responders should be used for all relief work during the initial phases of the rescue operation. The firefighters sent to do Community Relations work for FEMA proved time and time again capable of getting the job done. They are accustomed to harsh conditions, acting with a minimum of supervision and reacting to diverse situations in an effective manner. We do it everyday.

    A national response force should be created: there should be a Security Section made up of police, military police, FBI etc…There should be an EMS section using EMTs, paramedics, emergency room doctors and nurses and a Rescue Section made up of fire fighters, search and rescue teams etc….


    Expand NIMS to include Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
    There was no effort to coordinate relief efforts. Several agencies set up redundant operations in close proximity while other areas went completely without. There did not appear to be any oversight regarding food preparation/distribution centers. FEMA could act as the coordinating agency and all relief efforts would be mandated to coordinate resources with the local FEMA representative.

    Agencies; both governmental and nongovernmental should coordinate services and relief centers. There should be a central location where people can access FEMA, the Red Cross, Army Corp of Engineers etc… Many evacuees had no transportation and were expected to travel miles from the Red Cross shelter to the DRC then move across town to the Army Corp headquarters to arrange tarps for their roofs, and then go to another location for tree removal. A single resource area would eliminate this problem.

    A final word:
    It was an honor to serve with the men and women from across the nation in this effort. We were able to see first hand how the nation came together in a time of need. Unfortunately, we were also witness to some of the most ineffectual and wasteful actions by our federal government.
    Those of us that witnessed and became part of the disaster following the hurricane have a duty to speak out and see that the system is corrected before the next disaster. Each and every day I think of the people of the gulf coast, I hope in some small way we made a difference for a few of them, unfortunately any good we did was despite FEMA not because of them.





    Respectfully submitted,

    Bob Pratt

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    Quote Originally Posted by firebob111
    Firefighters tend to be goal oriented people, FEMA people tend to be process oriented people, and this combined with the lack of a command structure resulted in animosity and distrust.
    I think this statement sums up everything we will ever read about the response by FEMA. This type of problem will repeat itself again as long as career bureaucrats try to run response operations.
    -------------------
    "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
    -----------------------------------------------
    Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KenNFD1219
    I think this statement sums up everything we will ever read about the response by FEMA. This type of problem will repeat itself again as long as career bureaucrats try to run response operations.
    YA BUDDY!! I was in Bay St. Louis Mississippi (my home) before, during and after the storm. The only player that did NOT have it's act together was FEMA proper. Every Department, be it LE, EMS, Fire as well as the good intentioned volunteers that flocked to my area did a bang-up job and helped many survive an intolerable time. I'm not going to get into FEMA's shortcomings anymore, except to say that it needs to be rethought and QUICKLY. We have another storm season approaching fast, and they ain't gonna stop for any government agency.

    We've seen what nature can throw at us, and the entire nation, not only the deep south needs to sit up and take notice. You may be on your own for a goodly spell after a disaster strikes, and all local agencies need to have a support structure in place and operational before the feds can mobilize. Storehouses of supplies, equipment and a pool of personnel must be available before the disaster hits, be it storm, earthquake mass conflagration or other disaster. We've seen the fingerpointing and shortfalls, lets put the lessons to good use!
    Last edited by capfiremedic; 03-22-2006 at 12:55 AM.

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    I cannot speak with authority of everything my department did. I kow we were working 36/12 hour shifts. work 24 hours a the station, work 12 at another emergency position anywheres from Lake Charles, La (Hurricane Rita) to Peril River (Hurricane Katrina), and then get 12 hour off.
    I would like to say tha our Fire Chief Ed Smith went out of his way to make sure we had everything, with in reason, to complete the tasks given to us. He never once say we could not have what it took. For that matter the Mayor Kip Holden backed the Fire Chief 100%

    I would like to say to them Thank You. I could not think of a better pair to serve under.

    Capt. John Engine 6/B

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    Default Firefighter did a good job

    I believe that all the firefighters did a great job with the resources that they were given to help the people who were in the disaster. Also, the DART team from where I am, in Vancouver BC, did a great job as well. They helped the firefighters to deal with everyone.
    Firefighters are beneficial to every community with the wealth of information they have!

    They don't get enough praise, for the information and skills they know! It could save your life one day!!!!!

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    I was there with fltf2 for 14 days . we stayed at the saints practice arena.
    searched the 9th ward and charmeltte area ,but was not impressed with the ist,s having us stay in tents ,until the day rita was suppose to hit. while we were out inthe field 2 large tents blew across the parking lots western shelter are big tents then they had us rush back to assist to move inside the arena where we rode out rita.
    fyrresq1

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    I was sent to Atlanta on 9/8 spent 9 days there. Went to Orlando and was put up in the Wyndham and felt completly out of place, I mean here are all these people needing our trained help and we were sent on vacation? We were asked if there were any volunteers to go to Viginia and Maryland to work the call centers. Me and my partner jumped at the chance to do something. We learned so much from answering those phones. Many of the callers were so desperate it was maddening to sit and not be able to do any "hands on" work with them. Eileen Street is a regular FEMA employee, but despite that she is an angel of a person. She directed the call center with grace and wisdom the likes of which I have never seen on any fireground. I just couldn't stand not being "on scene" any longer and she arranged a transfer to Baton Rouge. We did NOTHING!!!!!! We were told not to get to far away from Port Allen as new deployments were coming every hour and we would leave with thirty min. notice. It was three days before we did get sent to N.O. in the night. When we did get there, we met with a NOPD roadblock that was turning folks around!!! We were confronted by some very angry police officers who didn't care if we were working for the Pope. We finally got through with a call from an LNO in Marrerro who spoke with the officer to let us through. We made our way to the tent city in Algiers to do some more sittin' around because we were told that assignments were upcoming!!! Two days of wasted time later , we were sent to the LNO who got us through the roadblock. Now during all of this, I met some of the best this nations fire service has to offer, but they were all getting a little stale because of all the downtime. They were frustrated with the policies of the FEMA folks in charge. Never were they told of the lack of initiative they would encounter in the mind set of the FEMA people. I don't know what their intent was. I didn't think it was to prolong the disaster to keep the paychecks coming, at least at first. Some of the DAEs were dragging their feet as this is the only supplemental income they get in a year. We did a lot of volunteer work in the city just as the Westbank was coming back. We worked mostly with the travel trailer program. After we told all these people they were signed up for trailers, the parish pulled all the building permits with a "not in my backyard" attitude. Many of the folks who had no place to put a trailer got left out by their parish leaders when they needed them most!!!! These same leaders didn't get the blame, WE did. WE told them WE could help. WE were the ones who took the heat of the fire someone else started as usual. The task we were assigned could not be done without those permits, so I was assigned to go to San Antonio to talk to those who were evacuated. I was there until 4/1/06. I was in charge of the temporary housing for the city of San Antonio. Mostly they were in hotels, but as time went on we transitioned them to apartments and houses. Some of these folks wanted to go back home, but they didn't have a place to go to. We met with resistance about getting apartments, as many thought that the hotel placements would be so temporary as to let them go home. All of us who were there, The city of N.O., know that many areas of that city will NEVER be back. The leaders of the state, city, parish, and country do these folks no service by telling them that this will be fixed. With the new hurricane season, we would do better to pray that the Gulf Coast be spared any more storms. Natural or manmade.

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    Default Yes they do

    Quote Originally Posted by mtwaites
    I believe that all the firefighters did a great job with the resources that they were given to help the people who were in the disaster. Also, the DART team from where I am, in Vancouver BC, did a great job as well. They helped the firefighters to deal with everyone.
    Yes and one man stoled my heart.Pat

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    Default Hi

    And he always will have my heart forever and ever.

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    no offense to any one,

    But I think you should also include those who went through the hurricane Rita.
    I was in Beaumont, TX before, during and after Rita went through. We had to deal with the logistical nightmare of providing support and recovery to a second area destroyed. REALLY scraping the barrell for suplies and fuel.You couldn't get fuel or support equipment/personnel because it was all in New Orleans. I came from Virginia, non-stop driving for 18hrs. then arrive and immediately begin evac on the hospital to airport where c130, c-17 c5 gallexy were awaitng the pts.
    The small towns that were more detroyed and not publicized for support managed to get the job done and survive.
    I kinda have a sore spot about Katrina for the fact that even after Rita we had to deal with the New Orleans displaced people amidst the locals in the Beaumont, TX and east. You would have thought FEMA would have said, let's not let another cluster happen. I totaly lost all respect for FEMA and gained all the respect in the world for the US FOREST SERVICE.
    FEMA showed up and we ran them out within two days because they were complete IDOTS with degrees. They showed up in a massive tractor trailer with ac and comforts; they asked what we needed and said, well, we can't help you, but you need to do this and that the opposite way. They were mad that we had an excellent smooth flowing system, were getting the job done with very little support, and were not making them feel all high and mighty.
    US FOREST SERVICE shows up and in HOURS we have fuel, porta pots ( 1 for evey 4-5 persons) including patients. Also the wildland deployment with 2 food trailers and shower trailer. These things FEMA said they could't find, and any support would be weeks away.

    FEMA needs to get rid of the Idots with JUST degrees and hire command people who have been out there in their loacalities running incidents. They will worry more on getting the job done, not be afraid to get dirty and break a sweat, than worrying that they look good for the camera.

    sorry for the rant But that's why I have a sore spot about KATRINA,
    There was no excuse because the mayor and GOVENOR had ego problems and didn't want to admit they needed help to get the people out before the storm.
    The US FOREST SERVICE needed better recognition for their help as well. Some government officals don't think wildland fire crews and forest dept. are that needed. Its about the only service prepared for rapid mass deployment other than the US military.
    Beaumont EMS, and Beaumont Fire have a great system that worked. Also much thanks to the DEMAT teams.
    again sorry for the rant, I feel i'm entitled to it because I WAS there before and after. 27 days, long shifts. all work no play we got the job done.
    Last edited by rescue84; 09-24-2006 at 09:29 PM.

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    I just returned from spending two weeks in Gulfport,MS with a group of fire & police volunteers from Calgary,AB,Canada who helped begin to rebuild the homes of a Gulfport Firefighter & Police Officer.I cannot believe that after a year in the most advanced country in the world there are still countless people there living in trailers who have yet to receive any substantial help!The Gulf cost area was decimated by Katrina yet did not receive the publicity that New Orleans continues to get.One year later & there are vast areas still sitting with vast destruction & no sign of any kind of aid.Our brothers & sisters are in dire need of your help so please do what you can.Take some time,organize your people & get down there to help!Firefighters & Police need to get together & help our people!Don't sit back & wait for your goverment,do what needs to be done now!Contact the local church groups,Fire Dept's etc,find out what you can do to help.God bless those folks down south,let's get them back on their feet!

  15. #15
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    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    64

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    thanks for the update, I guess you could call that disturbing/depressing. again the people that realy got hit, get passed up on the help.

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