Since 1891, New Orleans Fire Fighters have protected the City of New Orleans with unwavering courage and loyalty.  Hurricane Katrina dealt a near devastating blow, destroying fire houses and equipment throughout the city, transforming the already difficult job of fighting fires into a Herculean task, each and every day.

The Fire Fighters suffered enormous losses of equipment.  A compromised city infrastructure imposes additional hardship on the 650 men and women who protect us.

This is about public safety and supporting those who risk their lives every day for us.  

The Fire Fighters need your support.

The NOFD’s stated mission is that:

"The New Orleans Fire Department will respond to all emergency situations in the City of New Orleans to protect and save life and property.  Further, the Department will strive to reduce the incidence of fire and the loss of life and injuries to civilians and fire personnel.”

Not a single member of the NOFD deserted their post during the disaster of Katrina. Moreover, they rescued over 17,000 people after the storm utilizing their personal boats. The Department is very proud of these statistics however, since Hurricane Katrina its ability to accomplish these goals has been hampered.

The NOFD had a written hurricane plan years before Katrina addressing how to handle a potentially devastating storm, they knew what could happen.  The plan established set areas of last refuge where Fire Fighters and apparatus were elevated and place in groups.  As a result the NOFD was very successful in protecting its fleet of apparatus’ during the actual hurricane and the subsequent floods, loosing only three pieces of equipment to the rising waters.  However, they lost 22 of 33 engine houses to flooding. They have completed temporary repairs to eighteen of these facilities through the help of generous volunteers and donors.  These efforts have allowed firefighters to get out of trailers and into the structures.

The New Orleans Fire Fighters Foundation (NOFFF) has assisted the NOFD on several fronts.

  • Through generous donations from the New Orleans Rotary Club the NOFFF purchased uniforms for New Orleans Fire Fighters in 2008.

  • In 2009 the Foundation pledged money to assist the Department in purchasing a Mobile Command Van.  The value of this type of, state of the art, vehicle was demonstrated when one was brought to New Orleans and utilized during Katrina by the FDNY.  It would increase safety by allowing experienced incident commanders to remotely observe fire ground operations and assist lesser experienced officers in their decision making and increase scene safety through closer monitoring of assignments.  It has the additional capability of integrating communication systems so varied agencies can speak directly to each other.

Since Katrina manpower strength has been reduced.  The Department currently is down approximately 100 Fire Fighters from its pre Katrina strength. This has resulted in engine companies being forced to operate with 3 instead of 4 members, this often places firefighters in the untenable situation of having to choose between securing a water source to fight the fire or begin search and rescue.  When companies are sufficiently staffed these operations can commence simultaneously.   Moreover, this drop in manpower has resulted in the loss of many veteran and knowledgeable Captains and Chiefs.  Although, the members that have risen to replace them are good firefighters there is no substitute for experienced officers in this dangerous profession.

In an effort to increase the skills of these younger Fire Fighters and Officers, the Foundation has committed to assist the NOFD in purchasing COMPUTERIZED FIRE-TRAINING SIMULATORS.  This equipment will allow Fire Fighters to gain valuable experience using virtual reality techniques already applied in other fields enabling the fire Fighter to learn without the possibility of harming himself/herself or others.  With the recent influx of new Fire Fighters since Hurricane Katrina, computer fire-training simulators will serve as an excellent training tool facilitating the safety of the Fire Fighters and of the New Orleans community.

Additionally the Foundation is funding THERMAL IMAGERS.  A thermal imager translates infrared radiation into a viewable image, which shows a heat picture of the fire scene.  Because infrared radiation is not blocked by smoke, Fire Fighters can use thermal imagers to see through smoke enabling them to find victims faster, to identify the seat of the fire earlier, and to detect structural dangers that could put Fire Fighters at risk. Through the funding of these tools, we can continue to see improvements in the safety of the citizens and Fire Fighters.

The New Orleans Fire Fighters Foundation is honored to have the opportunity to support the NOFD and welcomes everyone to join in for this historic time in by assisting in rebuilding the New Orleans Fire Department.  The Board of Directors of the Foundation would like to thank you in advance for your support of this proud Department. And with your help looks forward accomplishing these goals to continue take the New Orleans Fire Department to new heights in the future.

*The New Orleans FireFighters Foundation is a 501-3C non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.

 

 

The New Orleans Fire Fighters Foundation was formed in August, 2006 to help the City’s Bravest.  Due to the devastating blow dealt from Hurricane Katrina, the NOFD desperately needs your help at this time.