Lieutenant firefighter Shane Gill from the Bogalusa Fire Department was on duty the night of the Louisiana flooding. Shane and his fellow firefighters started to respond to the rescue calls at 2:30 AM. In one night, the Bogalusa Fire Department rescued over 30 people. Because of this, they were already true heroes in our eyes. We quickly learned, however, that for them, it takes much more to qualify as a hero. It’s all about ‘brotherhood’.
When the flooding was happening, the fire department was busy with water rescues. Meanwhile, their own homes were being flooded. This included Shane, their fellow firefighter’s home with over a foot of water filling his single story home. All Hands Volunteers stepped in, working together with the firefighters.
In contrast to the “thick skinned” exterior by which firefighters are often characterized, this was a difficult time for many of them. As one firefighter put it, “what gets us through is the bond of the brotherhood of firefighters”.
The Bogalusa firemen devoted themselves to helping Shane and All Hands Volunteers worked right along beside them to gut his entire home, making it a safe and healthy environment for him and his son to return to.
Like us, Bogalusa firefighters understand the joy and satisfaction that comes from helping each other. And, with or without uniform, this is their greatest measure of heroism. For the All Hands Volunteers who worked with them, this was a day they will never forget.