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Fluffybunny

E-Mail to Friends and Family from a Paramedic

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Fluffybunny

First off, I am borrowing this from a firefighter website I go to regularly(www.firehouse.com). This is a special article that takes an actual email from a Paramedic who is helping in New Orleans.

Keep in mind that New Orleans is not a little town. The city itself is over half a million people, not counting the outlying suburbs...and it is destroyed for the most part.

Editor's Note: This is a letter to family and friends from a New Orleans Health Department Paramedic, as submitted to Firehouse.com. It has been edited ot remove some names. Take this letter for what it is ... an emotional dump to friends and family. Some of the specific information contained within may or may not be fully accurate and its the opinion and expression of the sender only

[Names Removed],

It me, [name removed]. You can't imagine what I've been through the last few days. It's indescribable. All I can tell you is DON'T GO HOME! There's nothing there. Nothing except people trying to kill you.

The city totally abandoned EMS and Fire. There's no communications. We've been on our own since the hurricane. There were crews stranded at the Bellsouth building in the East, and at the LSU Dental school, and at the Superdome.

NOBODY was going to evacuate them. The only reason they got out was because [name removed] himself got Wildlife and Fisheries to get them out by boat and Cedric organized a Blackhawk to airlift the EMS workers.

The city did NOTHING to help the EMS people, but they managed to evecuate the prisoners and the [edited] at the dome.

Tuesday we finally all managed to rendezvous at the dome and Mark was able to secure a military truck to get us out. About 80 or 90 of us went to the Hampton Inn across from the Convention Center because NOPD was there.

We were there for an hour when PD said to get out because the water was rising; take only one bag. We got our stuff together and went outside. NOPD was all in their vehicles and we were standing on the street like idiots. We begged them to stay with us, please to give us an escort or help get us out. They looked at us like we were stupid and yelled at us to get out of the way as they all drove off.

We were alone, in the dark, with no protection. No one was coming to get us. We decided to walk from the Convention Center across the CCC. the whole way we tried to get help, nobody came. I managed to find a working channel on the radio and talked to Jefferson Parish, begging them for help - transport, an escort, ANYTHING. They told me to [expletive edited] on the radio.

I don't know how they found us, but NOFD drove up and began to load us in their POV's. They took us to a nursing home on the westbank on Woodland and Degaulle that they had commandeered. The old people had been evacuated. They had food and running water and some electricity from generators. They welcomed us and fed us. They were fantastic.

We would have been killed by looters if we had nowhere to go at the bottom of the CCC. The only protection we had was [names removed] who had weapons. But NOFD had hundreds of weapons, and the nursing home was secure.

The next day we mounted an expedition to get provisions from the Wal Mart on Behrman. We had heard that NOPD had secured it after the looters had broken in. [Name removed] finally joined us with the dozen or so that had stayed at the dome the night before. He had commandeered a big Postal truck!

The people from the dome had managed to get their big trucks out the convention center where everyone was parked. We went to the WalMart where NOPD was helping themselves to anything and everything. We got there and gathered up food and underwear and sleeping bags and ammo and tampons and things like that. As were about to leave, we were told to leave our stuff where it was and get out.

NOPD was telling us that we couldn't take anything! I tried to talk to the commander; he said yesterday there were nearly riots because PD was taking supplies, so they were now getting stuff out the back door. I pleaded with him asking what we could do. He was going to explain to me until [name removed] ticked him off by saying 'He wasn't going to talk to me, she's the [title removed] and deal with her.'

He said "I don't care who you are lady, [expletive remove] and get out." Finally [Names Removed] convinced him to let us take a little stuff, all of which was inspected by NOPD. Meantime NOPD was still strolling around with shopping cart full of DVDs and TVs and all!

We were now totally on our own, abondoned even by our own fellow emergency responders, NOPD. We next mounted a mission to retrieve our cars and the bags we left at the Hampton Inn. I was in the back of the postal truck with a gun and knives and I was ready to kill anyone that looked at me wrong! Me! I couldn't believe any of it. When we got back,

[Names removed] decided to get the hell out. They were shooting at PD, FD and the National Guard. [unconfirmed report edited out]. [Name removed] had his truck and we loaded it all up. We took with us a resident from Charity Hospital that had ended up with us and 2 EMT's from Pennsylvania stranded after the EMS Expo.

We dropped [Name removed] off at her Grandma's, [Names removed] are headed for Jackson, then Wyoming. I'm here in [town name removed] with my sister. My wife's coming here today from Houston to get me. I don't know what I'm going to do; everything's gone.

New Orleans is just getting worse. I've been crying since I left the city. I'm never going back. I don't know what to tell you to do, but your life in New Orleans is over. Please try to make a new life somehere else.

Please contact me as soon as you can.

Love [Name Removed]

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stillcrazy

I always love how disasters bring out the best in folks.

I can't say I blame him. Some of the reports filtering out then and now about how police and others responded, show a total lack of compassion and understanding.

I expect there will always be looters, robbers and thugs in areas of disasters. But those sworn to protect, themselves become animals without firm leadership.

What we witnessed in N.O. was a major flaw in the system. And they expect Rita to be better?

While I am not sure of the accuracy of the letter, I do know the frustration that must have been felt by many who were left behind. It's a horrible feeling to know your on your own and everyone else is bailing ship. I guess the old saying 'every man for himself' applies to public servants as well.

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Dr_Strangelove

I always love how disasters bring out the best in folks.

I can't say I blame him. Some of the reports filtering out then and now about how police and others responded, show a total lack of compassion and understanding.

I expect there will always be looters, robbers and thugs in areas of disasters. But those sworn to protect, themselves become animals without firm leadership.

What we witnessed in N.O. was a major flaw in the system. And they expect Rita to be better?

While I am not sure of the accuracy of the letter, I do know the frustration that must have been felt by many who were left behind. It's a horrible feeling to know your on your own and everyone else is bailing ship. I guess the old saying 'every man for himself' applies to public servants as well.

I've been in contact with some of the Bell South people down there and this is the same sort of thing they are reporting. Luckily the death toll still hasn't been as bad as initially feared but the conditions are bad. The National Guard is definitely controlling the lawlessness but these fellows with SBC are still a bit nervous about going out to do their jobs.

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