Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Baker fire department slowly rebuilding

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BAKER - First responders have been crucial in the recent flood rescue and recovery efforts. Some fire and police stations were flooded recently and are in the process of being rebuilt.

In Baker, several feet of water damaged the city's fire department. Chief Danny Edwards says the station took on about two and a half feet of water.

"Everything was lost," he said.

Inside the station that was built in 2009, a familiar site of missing sheetrock. The station kitchen, sleeping quarters, and gym and administrative officers were destroyed. The fire engines are parked outside and inside the engine bays are flooded electronics, fans, gear and donations brought by residents. For a few days, firefighters also slept in the bays.

"It's sad that we have to go through this, especially for the guys, they've been pretty displaced," said Edwards.

Like many other first responders, firefighters in Baker lost their homes but continue to do their job.

"We haven't missed a beat," he said.

Fire fighters have picked up extra shifts and are making due thanks to neighbors helping neighbors. A trailer with a few bunks was brought in from West Baton Rouge and another office trailer was delivered Thursday. The gym has been moved outside. New firefighting equipment was driven down from New York to replace what was lost, including boots and hoses.

"The bond and the brotherhood in Baton Rouge and the fire service as a whole, especially in Baton Rouge, is phenomenal," said Edwards.

Some items will take a little longer to replace including an fire engine that took on a few feet of water after getting stuck, responding to a call. The engine is waiting for a tow to determine whether or not it's salvageable.

Chief Edwards says he's proud of his firemen who rescued about 1,500 people during the flood. The only thing their asking for right now are thoughts and prayers.

"If you see the guys out somewhere, just tell them that you appreciate what they do," he said.

Station 21 is waiting to hear back from insurance, along with a kitchen trailer and more bunks.


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