Moody rescuers save thousands - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Moody rescuers save thousands

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September 6, 2005

Jackson, MS--- More than 3,000 people have been rescued from flood waters in New Orleans by men and women from Moody Air Force Base. Every day since Hurricane Katrina hit, the base has sent supplies and staff to help with rescue and recovery.

It's a journey that airmen from Moody Air Force Base are getting used to. "There's a desperate need for the water, food and supplies so we're running constantly," said Capt. Scott Barber.

This crew is headed to the Gulf Coast to bring supplies, and relieve other airmen who've had an exhausting week. "We're just getting people in and our, bringing food and water, whatever people need down there, we're doing it," said Barber.

Since their mission began last Tuesday, they've pulled more than 3,000 people from the flood waters of New Orleans. "I go down and hoist them up, we'll treat them if they need anything because we're also trained medics, and transplant them to a safe place."

All their operations are based here at the search and rescue staging area at an Air National Guard base in Jackson, Mississippi. HH-60 helicopters from Moody take off 24 hours a day in search of hurricane victims. "They're homes are gone, water is up to the roof. This is the worst I've eve seen, its also the largest search and rescue effort I've ever seen," said Col. Callahan.

The number of rescues they typically make in a day is starting to drop. "Last night, we launched seven missions out of here and only recovered two individuals," said Callahan.

Now one of their hardest tasks is convincing flood victims to leave their homes. "As soon as we get them up in the aircraft and they see the damage, they realize wow, this is serious and they're glad they came with us," said Col. Callahan.

As one crew lands in Mississippi, another heads back to Moody, tired from a long and extensive mission, but ready to go at again when duty calls.

Moody also sent members of their security forces squadron to New Orleans to help with law enforcement.

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