Wednesday, August 31, 2005
To my fellow first responders...Good luck
Canal Street from My Hotel
I tend to bitch a lot...About work...The weather...My partner. But this week I was reminded that things could always be worse. I have been glued to my TV, watching the images coming out of New Orleans and other Gulf Cities in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I feel for all of the cities, however NO holds a special place in my heart for I had lost my Mardi Gras virginity to the city this past February. I spent almost a week wandering around the city armed with my trusty Nikon. I wandered down Bourbon Street the first night with my camera sharing my neck along with strands of plastic jewel toned beads and thick feather boas, enjoying everything the French Quarter had to offer. We stayed in a hotel on Canal Street over looking the parade route. For almost a week I went through the open air markets, ate Muffalatas from Central Grocery, gumbo from the street vendors and drank Hurricanes (the drink, not the storm) from Pat O'briens. We celebrated the conclusion of the Endymion Parade at the Superdome in formal "grown-up" style. (my cousin rides in the parade every year)
I spent my last day in the Garden District taking shots of the grand homes and cemeteries.
So I watch from my station in SC were I work, dry and cooled by AC, glad I'm not there; but still part of me wants to be there helping with the rescues. I watch as my fellow trained first responders pluck people from the rooftops of the waterlogged homes. I watch the evacuation of the Superdome, a place that not so long ago I stood with a bottle of Southern Comfort jumping up and down to the music of Cowboy Mouth with my neck weighted down with thousands of beads. I saw an arieal shot of ambulances lined up on an overpass waiting for the order to go in. I wish their was more my trained hands could do. However, I feel that a disaster like this would push me to my breaking point. The scenes from the Gulf state have brought back memories to my co workers here in Charleston of Hugo. The old timers that were here during that storm recite their stories, of the destroyed shelters, of the storm serge, of the mass evacuation of the flooded ERs as if it just happened. I listen and wonder if I would be able to keep myself together during a storm. I started his job with the thought in the back of my mind that I would not be able to evacuate with the rest of my family. That I would be stationed in the shelters to ride out the storm.
I wish the best to the cities devastated by the Hurricane. I wish the best of luck to my fellow Medics, EMTs, and Fire/ Rescue personnel.