Massachusetts firefighters heading to Louisiana to assist in Hurricane Ida recovery

Berkshire County

DALTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A group of firefighters from Massachusetts are on their way to Louisiana to assist in Hurricane Ida recovery there.

“My family is very proud,” said Dalton firefighter Brian Sears.

Ten firefighters, three cars and a two day drive down to Louisiana for the group of first responders from Massachusetts going to help with Ida recovery and relief. The firefighters are from the Dalton, Carlise, and Lynnfield fire departments. They told 22News they’re going somewhere that’s supposed to have no power still but other than that they don’t know much about what they’ll see when they get there.

“When I talked to my wife about it, I said, ‘Hey, what do you think about this?’ She said, ‘Well of course you’re going,'” said Sears. ‘I’ve prepared mentally just going through my list packing and repacking, I’ve probably packed like seven times.”

They will be supporting firefighters and stations in Louisiana under the emergency management assistance compact, which is a mutual aid system that facilitates state-to-state disaster assistance.

State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey told 22News, “They’ve already exhausted their regular mutual aid, their state wide mutual aid, even their regional mutual aid, so they have reached out nationwide to get assistance.”

“Filling in for people who’ve been working day and night and need a break,” said Carlise Fire Chief Bryan Sorrows.

The Dalton firefighters told 22News they’re expected to be there for two weeks but packed for potentially up to a month. They’ll work for 48 hours then be off for 48 hours the whole time they’re there.

“When we have neighbors in need, we help them out,” said Sears.

Massachusetts is one of 21 states sending aid to Louisiana under the mutual aid agreement. Firefighters told 22News they’re happy to help because one day they may need the assistance from other states.

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