Cleveland firefighters to help Louisiana flood victims
The Cleveland Fire Department sent ten firefighters to Baton Rouge, Louisiana Monday morning. They will spend the next several days volunteering and restoring shelter for displaced families.
Firefighters typically answer calls locally, but Monday the Cleveland Fire Department left for a call 600 miles away.
CFD sent ten firefighters to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where they will spend this week restoring homes for flood victims.
The community helped fill two tractor tailors with supplies and tools for the firefighters to take with them.
Firefighters like Tim Hogg say going to Baton Rouge is their duty.
“When a call comes in we answer calls this is no different than any of those calls. It’s a call; its service that's needed it's what we do as a fireman,” Hogg said.
Hogg is one of the 10 firefighters volunteering to help some 20,000 Louisianans without shelter after one of the worst storms tore through the state.
“We're going to be tasked with going to homes with flood damage to do service and overhaul. We will be ripping out sheetrock from my understanding and whatever is needed more than likely,” Hogg explained.
Some of the volunteers are active, others are retired. Jonathan Carroll organized the service trip, he said it was a call from their fellow firefighters in another state that inspired the department in Cleveland to see how they could lend a hand.
It’s a team effort for those going out of state and for those staying here at home.
"We have guys that have to fill our spot while we're gone to cover our shifts we have 10 guys going for 10 guys staying working 48-hour shifts so we can go,” Carroll said.
Over the weekend, firefighters went to Lowes asking for chalk line to measure water lines. Then shoppers at Lowes in Cleveland got involved, filling trailers with other supplies for volunteers.
An outpouring of support from the community to help firefighters and their mission.
"Our job is more fruits of our labor than our pay a lot of times. The pride and ownership we have in the job and in each other and what we do. It’s the reason we answer calls like this,” Hogg said.
It’s a call they hope can bring some relief and clarity to those living through the uncertainty of a devastating storm.
It will take the volunteers about nine hours to get to Louisiana. The Cleveland Fire Department said they hope to send another group back to the flood zone in the near future.
The fire department estimates that the community donated more than $100,000 in supplies.
The Cleveland Lowes said they are still collecting donations to help purchase supplies for volunteers. They will send the items collected at the end of each week.
For more information contact the Cleveland Lowes at (423) 476-9088.