Picayune joins rescue efforts in Louisville

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Picayune Fire Chief Keith Brown said that four firefighters from Picayune at 8:30 p.m., Monday to rendezvous with others in Hattiesburg who convoyed to Louisville for emergency rescue efforts associated with a tornado that struck Louisville.

Brown said that the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security have established three task forces for the state.

He said as of late Tuesday afternoon, two of those task forces were activated and a portion of a third was activated for logistic purposes.

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“They have activated the logistics portion which is handled by the city of McComb,” Brown said. “They will shelter responders, feed them and provide them with bathroom facilities. They have 150 responders to take care of.”

A press release from the University of Mississippi Medical Center Division of Public Affairs stated that as of 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning, 37 patients had been transported to various hospitals. Of those adult patients, 12 were reported to be in critical condition, five were reported in serious condition, 14 were reported in fair condition. Of the pediatric patients transported, three were in critical and three were in serious.

The release reported that between 50 and 100 patients were treated and released.

Brown said communications are sporadic between Louisville and Picayune, much like the conditions that followed Hurricane Katrina.

“We haven’t had a whole lot of communications today,” Brown said.

Brown said that Picayune emergency personnel have been a part of this task force for many years. Firefighters train for search and rescue operations in confined space conditions.

“Now it is coming back full circle, and these guys are able to use their knowledge and training to put pieces back together for other citizens,” he said. “Our hearts go out to those who have been devastated by this situation and we are proud to be of service.”