Search & Rescue Boats
On October 4, 2006, The Leary Firefighters Foundation proudly announced the gift of a fleet of flat-bottomed, search and rescue boats to the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) for immediate deployment. This gift was made possible by the Jeremiah Lucey Grant Program.
During Katrina and its immediate aftermath, the only water rescue capability available to the New Orleans Fire Department was the use of personal boats owned by members of the Department. Even with this limited capability, these dedicated firefigters rescued over 18,000 individuals, a great sucess given that the New Orleans Fire Department ‘s response area covers over 300 square miles.
In February 2006, LFF staff members conducted a fact-finding mission to New Orleans and learned that the New Orleans Fire Department continues to operate under emergency conditions. To date, only sixteen of the New Orleans Fire Department ‘s 33 stations have been repaired to the point of occupancy. Over half of the New Orleans Fire Department fleet was seriously damaged and replacement appartus has not yet arrived. And nearly 80% of the New Orleans Fire Department ‘s membership lost their homes and are working overtime and without pay to clean out damaged firehouses and assist in the rebuilding effort.
“The catastrophic storm and its aftermath has shown us how essential the need is for these flat-bottomed rescue boats to proect the citizens of New Orleans and the dedicated firefighters that serve this great city,” said Superintendent Charles Parent, New Orleans Fire Department. “Without the generosity of The Leary Firefighters Foundation there would have been no way to fill this major equipment void. This gift will make a substantial difference to rebuild our communities and our ability to do our job.”
The Leary Firefighters Foundation thanks its generous supporters: Ruth’s Chris Steak House; world-renowned Chef Ming Tsai, owner of Blue Ginger Restaurant in Wellesley, MA and host of television’s “Simply Ming”; and Ernie Boch, President and CEO of Boch Enterprises in Norwood, MA.