BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Dozens of Biloxi firefighters are back home after spending time helping families in flood-stricken Louisiana.
They served meals and cleaned-out houses in Independence and Zachary; helping payback a portion of the kindness shown after Hurricane Katrina.
The slogan on the side of their disaster relief trailer says it best: Always ready, with willing hearts.
"We'd have to go in and a lot of times remove the furniture and stuff, strip the walls; depending on the height of the water. We experienced homes that had anywhere from 6 to 8 inches of water, up to 9 feet of water," said Chief Joe Boney.
The firefighter relief team helped muck out homes that had extensive water damage.
"Everybody's very appreciative of any help they get there. And we really, ever since Katrina, we always try to offer help to people and go help them just like they helped us while Katrina was here," said Jeff Merrill.
It was the first relief trip for Taylor Beesley, who's been a Biloxi firefighter for just over six months. He was happy to be part of the disaster response team.
"Helped gut some houses, cleaned stuff out. And pretty much get stuff ready for people to rebuild and help get back in their homes," Beesley said.
The chief says the disaster relief trailer is always on stand-by, ready to roll out and help the next community in need. The Biloxi Fire Department has made several disaster relief trips in recent years, including helping tornado victims in North Mississippi, and taking a road trip to the northeast to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
"It's not just the physical work that you do. People have a need to tell their story. People have a need to know that they're not forgotten. People have a need to know that there's people out there who care," said John Jennings.