In the days following Hurricane Katrina, a small parish in Louisiana known as St. Bernard suffered some of the worst damage. The storm itself brought significant destruction, but the ensuing floods are what labeled this event one of the worst national disasters on American soil. The author, whose father and son were both members of the St. Bernard fire department during the storm, came face-to-face with the harrowing stories of the brave men and women who became heroes to so many.
In the early moments, the parish fire department personnel quickly learned that their roles had changed. Abandoned by the ambulance service as the first squalls of the storm reached the area, their new roles were diverse and demanding. Firefighters became the area’s EMTs, rescue and recovery responders, mechanics, social workers, and provision providers. For some six thousand parish residents who made the unfortunate decision to stay in their homes, fire personnel, ignoring their own losses and heartaches, would become their saviors.
About the Author
Michelle Mahl Buuck was born and raised in the Faubourg Marigny section of New Orleans. Her family includes three generations of firefighters: her grandfather, father, and son. This, in addition to her years of community involvement in St. Bernard Parish, instilled in her a strong desire to document theses stories. She did this not only to record the area’s hardships during Hurricane Katrina, but also for the first responders whose stories are often forgotten. Buuck served on the Board of Directors for the Nunez Community College History Lecture Series for three years. She has also written for the Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans, reporting community news for St. Bernard Parish.
THE ST. BERNARD FIRE DEPARTMENT IN HURRICANE KATRINA
By Michelle Mahl Buuck
Foreword by Craig P. Taffaro, Jr.
352 pp. 6 x 9 45 b/w photos 2 maps Notes Index