New Orleans Firefighters Mark Katrina Anniversary

While many people trapped in New Orleans after Katrina tried to get out, hundreds of first responders ran towards the danger trying to help with search and rescue efforts, reports

On the eve of Katrina’s 10-year anniversary a group of firefighters were reunited, some for the very first time since the storm.

“I remember driving in here at about 10 o’clock at night, there was no lights, we had a convoy of about 30-40 vehicles, there was no traffic,” said Mike Hoffman who heard the cries for help on television and without hesitation left Wisconsin for New Orleans.

For about six months the firefighter rolled up his sleeves to help out. Bad memories, he says have kept him away until now.

“As a firefighter used to dealing with one disaster at a time. One house fire. One car accident. This was weeks and weeks and weeks on top of each other of disasters that you’re dealing with,” said Hoffman.

On Friday night, he joined fellow firefighters who traveled across town and the country for an intimate reunion in Mid-City to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Katrina.

“Firefighters as quiet as it’s kept were responsible for over 18,000 rescues during that time. This city was without water, without power. Not one firefighter backed down,” said Nick Felton with the New Orleans Firefighters Association.

“We did security, we did food distribution, we did inspections, my team was one of the first teams back into the ninth ward,” said retired Fire Chief Jim O’Neill.

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