Eighth Ward Volunteer Fire Dept. prepares for search and rescue efforts in Tangipahoa Parish

Louisiana

PONCHATOULA, La. — As Tangipahoa Parish begins to feel the impact of Hurricane Ida, Chief Ira Brown with the Eighth Ward Volunteer Fire Department says that the main concern in the Ponchatoula, Hammond, and Bedico areas is flooding from the Tangipahoa River.

“I just looked at the river projections just a few minutes ago, and it’s projected to reach 22 feet and we are at major flood stage at 21 feet. So, what happens then is that we have some houses that are in low-lying areas and roadways that are going to be flooded. That’s our major concern,” says Brown.

Chief Brown says the Eighth Ward Volunteer Fire Department’s two stations are responsible for 86 square miles.

To help cover all of that ground during Hurricane Ida, the Civilian Crisis Rescue Team based out of Indiana will be helping the department’s search and rescue efforts with swift-water rescue boats and certified personnel.

They arrived in town this morning and are standing by.

“So, we will mainly be doing floodwater rescue along with opportunities for swift-water and we have K9 units in case there is any call for it. We run our own dispatch. We take care of our own medical. We don’t self-deploy, so we get asked out by local agencies. In this case, a fire department says we have a need, we have waterways, and we know we are going to have flooded areas. So, we get our gear together and collect our certified people, put our package together, come on down, and help any way they need us too,” says CCRT Executive Director Jeremy Snarski.

Here is the complete interview with CCRT Executive Director Jeremy Snarski:

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