Firefighting, Technical Rescue

WATER TANKER TASK FORCE

Issue 5 and Volume 159.

BY RAY McCORMACK Usually when we hear the term “urban wildland interface,” we think of forest fires encroaching on residential areas. In post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, we had a different mix of these terms. Members of the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) and the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), Illinois firefighters, and U.S. Forest Service firefighters from the Midwest and West Pacific worked together in an unprecedented urban environment. This group of dedicated firefighters formed an engine company tanker task force that worked around the clock to provide a reliable water source for firefighting in the damaged city. Hurricane Katrina struck the NOFD hard, affecting overall department operations and its firefighters. Many firefighters we worked with had lost their homes and were struggling to deal with the displacement of family members while working their regular shifts at the fire station. FDNY firefighters, having gone through 9/11, understood how the…

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