New Orleans has yet to rebuild a single fire station more than two years after Katrina destroyed or damaged 22 of the city’s 33 firehouses.
CNN reports that actor Denis Leary is “appalled” by the city’s lack of action.
The New Orleans firefighters have resorted to repairing their stations themselves, and enlisting some volunteer carpenters.
“I gave up on ever hoping that politicians in this country — local, state or federal — would step in to help these guys,” actor Denis Leary told CNN.
On FX network, Leary plays a firefighter on his hit show, “Rescue Me.”
He is using his already established charitable foundation to bring together volunteers from a New York carpenter’s union and the New Orleans Fire Department to rebuild the stations. CNN is reporting that they have rebuilt five, with two more finished in a couple months.
Leary noted the insult to all Americans on the failure of Government help at every level and that they should count on actors and musicians in the effort to help a city rebound.
Other notables helping the Big Easy are Brad Pitt, Harry Connick Jr. and U2’s The Edge.
“We have The Edge, you know, an Irish musician coming over here to help solve the problems in New Orleans,” Leary said to CNN.
“But we can’t get FEMA or our own president to respond. It’s not shameful, it is just funny.”
He added, “I have so given up on ever getting a politician’s head to turn and face facts in that situation.”
CNN reports that after Katrina hit, “FEMA estimated it would take 10 years and millions of dollars to rebuild the fire stations. In the interim, firefighters have been working and living in trailers attached to the decimated firehouses.”
“It’s a bit heart-wrenching,” said firefighter Chuck Brokmeier to CNN.
Leary’s firefighters foundation has organized volunteers from a New York carpenter’s union who are rebuilding alongside New Orleans firefighters. The men are often working at their expense – free of charge.
Leary recunted some stories firefighters had to share. Leary told CNN a firefighter once told him about a station that had about three feet of water.
“He said one of the guys from FEMA came in here and told us that they would pay for the hinge on this door below the water line, but the two hinges above the water line they weren’t going to pay for,” Leary said.
If you want to help Denis, go here: http://www.learyfirefighters.org/ and donate money or your time to help the firefighters of New Orleans.Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.