Friday, September 16, 2005

FDNY firefighter report

Also via Nick at "Blogborygmi":
(9/2) I've become a looter myself, technically. In an effort to conserve our dwindling supply of MREs, we've been breaking into houses for canned food. I suspect we're being a little gentler than our looter brethren, and we try to secure the doors when we leave, but it's almost silly. Nobody's coming back to these houses for a long, long time.

We've also become an armed band. One of my guys "found" a shotgun. I didn't ask him where, but I feel better that he has it. I've fallen back on infantry tactics for travelling down the streets - stay close to the walls, don't bunch up - because there's lots of random gunfire. The good news is that there's a lot more National Guard around today, so maybe things will begin to stabilize.

I do need to tell you some of the stories.

There was a woman walking down the street carrying two plastic bags. She looked to be in shock, so we stopped her to see if we could treat her. She had two dead babies in the bags.

We didn't find out if they were her children. She was a 3 on the responsiveness scale (which goes 1-5) and wandered off before we got much out of her. There are a lot of walking dead here. In a lot of ways, they're the creepiest of all.

We walked around the corner and into a shootout between two cops and a guy carrying a rifle. One of the cops shot the guy in the head. And they got in their car and drove away.

We rescued a mom and two kids who had been on a roof since Tuesday with no food, no water and the body of their grandmother. How does a kid have a normal life after that? What kind of awfulness is being bred here?

And one more:

An old black guy had stayed in his barbershop all week, trying to protect it. As we went by, he came out and said 'you boys need a shave.' So I sat in a chair on Poydras Street while he shaved me with a brush, straightrazor and filthy water. I'm not sure which one of us felt better.


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