Biloxi firefighter Joe Boney returns favor to Sandy victims - - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi firefighter Joe Boney returns favor to Sandy victims


After superstorm Sandy pummeled New York and the east coast, Joe Boney wanted to return a favor by traveling up north.

"I wanted to help people that really came and helped us. I know some of those people personally, and it was important that I go up there and show our support to them up there," Boney explained.

It was hard work.

"We gutted many homes, went in and tore the sheet rock out, the floors out, the fixtures and everything, so we could eliminate the mold as much as we could," Boney recalled.

Seeing New York torn and tattered reminded him of the Mississippi in the days after Katrina.

"The smells that you smelled and the sights that you saw, it was very surreal," Boney said.

One of Joe Boney's main goals during his trip to New York was not only helping people repair their homes, but also handing down some of the knowledge he gained in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"We discussed some of the problems that we had that they're facing right now as far as our firefighters go and how to pace them," Boney explained. "Make them work to their level and not beyond that level because that's when you start getting hurt."

The job is not finished. Now Joe and others are collecting toys for his firefighting brothers in New York to hand out once again on the coast, as they have done for years.

"These toys will be collected, and they will be distributed here in place of the toys that they would have brought. We didn't want to bring an extra burden on them," Boney emphasized.

It's a burden that Joe and others are happy to bear.

If you want to help by donating a toy, just drop them off at any fire station in Biloxi until this Friday. The New York firefighters will be on the coast next weekend to help distribute the toys at several locations.

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