Massachusetts firefighters from Carlisle, Dalton and Lynnfield will travel to Louisiana this week to help local first responders in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Fire Services.
“On behalf of the residents of the Commonwealth, I commend these firefighters, their families, and their departments for answering the call to help the people of Louisiana recover from the impacts of Hurricane Ida,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a press release. “These firefighters will use their training and expertise to deliver essential support to Louisianians rebuilding their communities.”
The departments plan to provide assistance under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact which is a national mutual aid system that helps provide state-to-state disaster assistance, according to the release. Massachusetts is one of 21 states sending assistance to Louisiana under EMAC.
The commonwealth plans to send 10 firefighters equipped with personal protective equipment, including a self-contained breathing apparatus, according to the release, and will leave for Louisiana Tuesday morning. During their time, they plan to provide more officers at local stations and respond to calls for medical aid, structure fire suppression and everything in between.
“The care of public safety professionals for those they serve extends beyond any jurisdiction, town, or state line,” acting public safety and security secretary Terrence Reidy said. “I cannot overstate the courage of these individuals who have come together as part of this national response team. Their work will make a difference as rebuilding continues.”
The Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness requested EMAC aid last week and MEMA and DFS has worked to organize volunteers across Massachusetts.
“Massachusetts firefighters know the value of mutual aid, whether it comes across municipal borders or state lines,” State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey said. “When people need help, the fire service always takes the call. Our counterparts in Louisiana are confronting high temperatures, power and resource shortages, the fire and health risks associated with increased generator usage, and concerns about their own families. Firefighting is a physically and mentally demanding job even under the best conditions, so we know the challenges they’re facing right now.”