- Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
- Department of Fire Services
- Executive Office of Public Safety and Security
Media Contact for Mass. Firefighters Head to Louisiana to Assist in Ida Recovery
Christopher Besse, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
Framingham — The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Department of Fire Services (DFS) today announced that firefighters from three Massachusetts towns will travel to Louisiana this week to support local first responders in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. Three teams of firefighters from the Carlisle, Dalton, and Lynnfield fire departments will provide assistance to their counterparts in Louisiana under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), the national emergency management mutual aid system that facilitates state-to-state disaster assistance.
“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,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These firefighters will use their training and expertise to deliver essential support to Louisianians rebuilding their communities.”
“This mission represents the best of our shared commitment to care for those in need,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Massachusetts’ first responders remain deeply committed to their mission of service. We wish them continued safety as they travel south, in their important work on the ground, and in their return home.”
“The care of public safety professionals for those they serve extends beyond any jurisdiction, town, or state line,” said Acting Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy. “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.”
In total, 10 Massachusetts firefighters equipped with their own personal protective equipment, including self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), are responding. Personnel will depart for Louisiana Tuesday morning, after making final preparations in Lee, MA.
“We are grateful that these firefighters and three communities have stepped up to assist with this important mission,” said MEMA Deputy Director Pat Carnevale. “MEMA continues to regularly monitor and respond to EMAC requests and is ready, and willing to assist if additional requests are made that the Commonwealth is able to fulfill.”
“Massachusetts firefighters know the value of mutual aid, whether it comes across municipal borders or state lines,” said State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey. “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.”
Last week, after the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness requested EMAC aid, MEMA and DFS coordinated to seek and organize volunteers from municipal fire departments across the Commonwealth. The Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s office accepted Massachusetts’s offer of assistance on Friday. While in Louisiana, Massachusetts personnel will supplement and relieve personnel at local stations, handling incoming calls for service that may include anything from medical aid to structure fire suppression.
Massachusetts is one of 21 states sending aid to Louisiana under EMAC, which functions as the nation’s all-hazards mutual aid system to coordinate the provision of certain emergency management assets.