When Hurricane Harvey hit, dozens of first responders from Shreveport-Bossier traveled south to help in the rescue and recovery efforts.
“People just embrace you because they just embrace a sense of order at that time. Because everything has just gone crazy,” said Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator. “They’re just wanting somebody to tell them what I do next.”
Sheriff Prator and a team from his office did that and more, helping those who’ve had their lives turned upside down because of Harvey.
“What you first notice in a situation like that is all the confusion. No body knows what they are doing,” he said. “And that’s why it’s good for people to show up who don’t know anything about the area or the people and make some sense out of it.”
The group teamed up with Shreveport Fire & EMS, and the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s office.
“Our initial role was to pretty much go from structure to structure. Pretty much knocking and announcing who we were,” said Clarence Reese, an EMT for the Shreveport Fire Department. “And seeing if there was anybody needing to be rescued, or if we had to make a recovery at all.”
“It was mainly people that decided not to evacuate,” said Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Whittington. “And after two-three days of no power, no food, standing in water, they decided you know what this wasn’t such a good idea.”
Thankfully good people, with extensive training, came to help.
“These guys are trained in everything from confined space to road structure collapse to swift water, divers. They have a lot of specialized training,” said Reese.
Sheriff Whittington says his team was happy to provide aid, because many know all too well what the people of Texas are dealing with.
“It was another state, but you know what, those people flood just like we do,” said Whittington. “And having gone through floods, we know a little bit how it feels just to have people help.”