Mike Tschida, a firefighter with Centennial Fire District, along with Battalion Chief Anthony Scavo of Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View Fire Department, spoke recently to the media following the group’s return to Minnesota.
Scavo said in many cases, crews from Minnesota offered relief for local firefighters who were on the job and away from their families in need.
“In some cases, solo, taking their trucks,” said Scavo. “They just handed us the keys and said ‘Go for it. Our staff needs to go home and kind of take care of our own families and our own property, as we haven’t had the opportunity to do that.’”
They said the tent city the firefighters stayed in near Thibodaux, La. was just enough for what they needed.
“It was tight but it was doable,” said Tschida. “It was actually better than I imagined.”
The weather was the major obstacle to overcome for the Minnesota contingent.
“I know the dog days of summer get hot here, but that’s an understatement down there in Louisiana,” said Scavo. “When you get 100 percent humidity, trying to stay hydrated and keep crews from tipping over, it was a challenge. But we were able to overcome that.”
They had to work through the landfall of Hurricane Nicholas.
“Honestly that was the most rain I think I’ve ever seen,” said Tschida. “It’s not like around here when you just get a downpour for 10-15 minutes.”