Three dozen New Orleans firefighters are headed to New York to pay back a huge debt. They left Armstrong International Airport this morning for a two-week stint, helping New York firefighters clean up from Superstorm Sandy.
The New Orleans firefighters say they expect to be mucking sand out of basements and helping to gut flooded homes, a skill many of them honed to perfection after Hurricane Katrina.
After Katrina, 600 firefighters came to New Orleans from New York to help with recovery. Captain David Nicks of the NOFD says “It was like the cavalry coming to the rescue. After they helped us with search and rescue, they stayed around to gut our houses. They even cut our grass.”
Capt. Nicks says he knows 36 firefighters can’t possibly repay the debt owed to their 600 New York counterparts. He adds that NOFD doesn’t have enough resources to send that large a response.
“But it’s a way for us to give back the best that we can,” he adds. The New Orleans firefighters will stay in New York for 18 days, coming home on December 15.