New Orleans Firefighters to Help With Shelters

New Orleans firefighters are training to learn how to operate shelters during emergency situations, according to WWL-TV.

The fire department has partnered with the American Red Cross to receive the training.

"Every single member of the department will have gone through this by the time we're done, from firefighter to the rookie firefighter to the chief," NOFD Assistant Superintendent Tim McConnell told the news station.

"We felt like with the manpower the fire department had, it would be good to get our guys trained up, and we thought this would be a good opportunity for us to be available and have some insight into what they do on a regular basis when there's a disaster."

Officials stressed that the shelter work would not compromise fire protection for the city and would call in additional resources if necessary.

"I applaud the fire department for taking on the charge and getting trained to help us do that, because it's a good asset that we have in our pocket in case we need it," Bill Salmeron, Chief Readiness and Response Officer for the New Orleans American Red Cross chapter, said.

The shelters are used for all types of hazards, but will not be open during a hurricane of any category.