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After Katrina, New Orleans firefighters get new fire stations

The exterior of New Orleans fire station 14 fully restored after the devastation of Katrina
Station 14, one of the rebuilt and restored New Orleans fire stations
New Orleans fire stations restored after Katrina

New Orleans firefighters today will unveil fire stations throughout the city that were restored and renovated through a massive effort that began after Hurricane Katrina's destructive assault on the Gulf Coast four years ago this week.

The New York City District Council of Carpenters Labor Technical College and the Leary Firefighters Foundation launched the New Orleans Firehouse Restoration Project in 2007 to rebuild 11 fire stations. Hurricane Katrina destroyed or damaged 22 New Orleans fire stations.

"The people responsible for this project have done much more than rebuild fire stations. They have restored a fire department. They have helped ensure the safety of everyone in New Orleans - its residents and its firefighters," said International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) General President Harold Schaitberger.

"We tried for more than three years to get the federal government to do its part, but it never did. It's fitting though that the dedication and determination of our Carpenters Union brothers and sisters gave New Orleans firefighters what they need and deserve to do their difficult jobs. We can't thank them enough."

More than 200 Carpenters from New York and Louisiana donated 8,000 hours of their time to renovate and rebuild fire stations devastated by the hurricane. Money for the project came from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, New York City District Council of Carpenters, Leary Firefighters Foundation, corporate donations and the workers themselves. The value of the donated labor and materials reached an estimated $1.5 million.

The IAFF will present Carpenters Union President Doug McCarron a plaque to honor their work in New Orleans, spearheaded by Gerry Crimmins, Sean Keogan and Jason Engles.

New Orleans fire station 14 as it appeared following Hurricane Katrina
Fire station 14 as it appeared following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina

"Unions, civilians and sponsors joined the Leary Firefighters Foundation on the New Orleans firehouse restoration project, and it is only fitting as we approach the anniversary date of Hurricane Katrina that we commend their efforts," said Denis Leary, Leary Firefighters Foundation president.

"Every member of the New Orleans Firefighters Association deeply appreciates the unselfish sacrifices of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, the Leary Foundation and the New Orleans Building Trades. We are eternally grateful for their hard work, support, dedication, generosity and commitment to rebuilding our fire houses after Hurricane Katrina," said Nick Felton, President of the New Orleans Fire Fighters Association Local 632.

Today's press conference is scheduled to begin at 11:45 am at Engine 7, 1441 St. Peter Street.

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