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Metro Newsroom

Mayor: Louisville Continues to Help Hurricane-Ravaged Areas

Thursday September 1, 2005

Abramson visits Red Cross to thank volunteers

Mayor Jerry Abramson today commended the citizens of Louisville who are stepping forward to assist with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

At a Red Cross training session for volunteers heading to the Gulf Coast region, Abramson said Louisville residents will be a “critical lifeline” for people in dire circumstances.

“The spirit of all of Louisville will travel with you, as you represent our community in helping our neighbors in the South during this crisis,” Abramson told the volunteers. “You’ll be faced with incredible challenges, but I know each of you will be driven by the will to help your fellow Americans.”

The mayor said city government remains in constant contact with federal emergency-management officials to offer Louisville’s assistance. He provided an update on a number of relief efforts, including:

Medical Patient Relocation
Louisville Emergency Management officials are awaiting word from FEMA and the National Guard for when 50 to 75 medical patients being relocated from the Gulf Coast region will arrive in Louisville. Local hospitals have confirmed their ability to accept patients and medical and communications supplies have been set up at the Air National Guard hangar at Louisville International Airport to prepare for the patients’ arrival. Louisville is one of several cities participating in the National Disaster Medical System.

FEMA request for public health specialists The Louisville Metro Health Department is identifying staff nurses, environmentalists and community health educators to travel to the Gulf Coast. A list will be compiled and set to the Kentucky Emergency Management Agency and individual activation will be made by the state. Volunteers are being told to expect primitive living condition such as tents and military-rationed meals.

Swift Water Rescue Team

A second crew of 14 suburban firefighters will leave Louisville this afternoon for Louisiana, to relieve the swift-water rescue team members who have been on duty for several days performing more than 400 rescues. The second crew will be taking supplies including an additional boat, latex gloves, antibiotics and tarps. The Swift Water Rescue Team spent yesterday rescuing people from hospitals in New Orleans. Today search and rescue missions have been suspended because of violence.

Compiling government resources
The Louisville Emergency Management Agency is inventorying city employees who could provide specialized assistance, such as heavy-equipment operators, engineers and sewer specialists. A list of available personnel will be provided to the state EMA to coordinate possible deployment.