Montville’s firefighting community says they are just helping their own. They’ve organized relief efforts, donating to firefighters in a community trying to recover from the destruction of Hurricane Laura.
In a collaboration between the four independent fire companies serving Montville, a decision was made to help the victims of last week’s devastating storm. Beginning Wednesday and running through the end of next week, these fire departments will be collecting donated supplies to send to Louisiana.
“When we look at the images. We look at the utter devastation and try to figure out, how are these people surviving day today. They have no food. They have no electricity. They have no water,” said Chesterfield Fire Company spokesperson, Steven Frischling.
Attempting to help, Frischling worked with FEMA and the Red Cross to identify a Louisiana department in need. He found the New Iberia Fire Department. They were unaffected by the storm but are receiving and distributing donated items to areas of need.
Donated supplies will be sent to the New Iberia Fire Department who, will then take them to Sulphur, Louisiana; one of the hardest-hit communities.
“(Sulphur) has three fire stations and only one of them is being able to be used right now because the other two were demolished,” said Marc McAnally, a captain with the New Iberia Fire Department.
Supplies being collected include water, cleaning items, garbage bags and chain saw bar oil.
“Without bar chain oil your chain saw simply stops working,” explained Frischling. “Without a chainsaw you’re not taking down trees.”
Trees aren’t the only concern. People in Sulphur are without electricity and are just now getting gas to run generators. Firefighters in Louisiana are thankful for Montville’s effort but say they are not surprised.
“No matter where we are, it’s a brotherhood and we step up to help out whenever we can. Whoever we can,” said McAnally.
Frishling said several area businesses have already donated, including Lowes and Mohegan Sun. Shipman's Fire Equipment Supply of Waterford has agreed to pay for transportation expenses, while Blais Transportation of Salem will provide drivers and trucks.
Organizers are urging anyone who would like donate to bring items to any of the four fire stations in the Montville area. Their goal is to fill as many trailers as they can in the next 10 days.