Wednesday October 19, 2005
Mayor Jerry Abramson presented 86 local first responders and city employees with citations of service for their rescue and relief efforts in the Gulf Coast region in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Louisville personnel were deployed to Louisiana and Mississippi to assist in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster response.
“Louisville is a community that stepped forward, both locally and along the Gulf Coast, to assist in disaster relief efforts,” said Abramson. “As 3,000 evacuees made their way to Louisville seeking shelter and hope - our employees packed up supplies and drove into the heart of the worst natural disaster in this country’s history.”
The mayor commended personnel for their commitment to help people thousands of miles away during some of the most trying and difficult circumstances ever witnessed.
Rescue and relief efforts in the disaster zone included:
Suburban Fire Departments
· 46 members of the Louisville Swift Water Rescue Team (representing Worthington, Okolona, Harrods Creek, Middletown, Jeffersontown, Middletown, Pleasure Ridge Park, St. Matthews and Lyndon departments) helped rescue more than 2,500 people from the floodwaters in New Orleans.
· 6 firefighters from Anchorage and Lyndon served as part of 1,000 two-person emergency teams dispatched by the United States Firefighters Association to help residents complete FEMA forms.
· 6 firefighters from Eastwood and Worthington are temporarily operating their tanker trucks in Curlington, Mississippi as part of that community’s firefighting force. They are scheduled to return to Louisville next week.
Louisville Metro Fire Department
· 21 firefighters spent two weeks in Mississippi relieving exhausted first responders at several fire departments.
Louisville Metro Health Department
· 2 employees inspected shelters and medical clinics in the Gulf Coast region.
· 2 employees, who serve in the military, were dispatched to the Gulf Coast with their guard or reserve units.
Louisville Metro Emergency Medical Services
· 3 employees helped evacuate patients from nursing homes and hospitals before Hurricane Rita made landfall. After the storm, emergency medical technicians made EMS runs for the city of Beaumont, Texas.
“I thank our first responders and employees for raising their hands and answering the call to help,” said Abramson. “These individuals saved lives, provided rest, gave comfort and inspired hope, which they do daily here at home.”
Local relief workers and volunteers to be honored Nov. 1
Abramson will thank all city employees, volunteers and residents who helped locally with relief and relocation efforts at the “Community Appreciation Day”, November 1.
The celebration starts at 12 noon at The Gardens, 525 West Muhammad Ali Blvd. - the site of the city’s Family Assistance Center.
“This will be a chance to recognize all those who helped welcome, house, clothe and care for the thousands of displaced residents who came to Louisville,” said Abramson.
Metro United Way and the local chapter of the American Red Cross will help host the event.