The events of the early-morning hours of Aug. 29, 2005, will long be remembered as the most destructive natural disaster that has ever struck the nation. Prior to the visit of Hurricane Katrina, the 1969 Hurricane Camille had been considered the worst-case scenario in the middle Gulf Coast region...
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There is a lot left to do to report that this incident is "under control." However, with the "can-do" attitude that the Biloxi firefighters and outside responders possess, no task will be too large. I am sure that many reports will be written and evaluations conducted, and that only positive comments will be made about the response that the American fire-rescue service provided. Without a second thought, I am glad that I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to work alongside of true heroes.
The response to Hurricane Katrina is one of those career incidents that you don't want to miss. The closure to this event was a 14-minute documentary that Atlanta Fire-Rescue produced to honor our brothers and sisters to the south. In fact, another highlight occurred on Sept. 27, when the Atlanta Braves baseball team honored the Biloxi Fire Department by playing the documentary on the "Braves Vision" screen for all of our community to see. In addition, Roberts received a special honor by being introduced on the field just before game time. I am sure that he will long remember his visit to Atlanta.
Dennis L. Rubin, a Firehouse contributing editor, is chief of the Atlanta Fire Department. Previously, he was city manager and public safety director for the City of Dothan, AL. Rubin is a 33-year fire-rescue veteran, serving in many capacities and with several departments. He holds an associate's degree in fire science from Northern Virginia Community College and a bachelor's degree in fire science from the University of Maryland, and is enrolled in the Oklahoma State University Graduate School Fire Administration Program. Rubin is a 1993 graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program and holds the national Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) certification and the Chief Fire Officer Designation (CFOD) from the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). He serves on several IAFC committees, including a two-year term as the Health and Safety Committee chair. Rubin can be reached at Firerube@aol.com.