With public money tied up, generous donations of time and funds have restored four New Orleans firehouses, the Times-Picayune reports. "This is a critical safety issue,” said the district chief. With 22 of 33 city firehouses hit hard in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, many firefighters still work out of trailers. The volunteers have offered to help mend another seven firehouses.
Among the donors were the Leary Firefighters Foundation, the New York City carpenters' union, and appliance companies like Frigidaire. Off-duty firefighters also lent a hand. "Every one of those people who came down will tell you now it was a life-changing experience," said one New York carpenter who helped organize the effort. "Lots of them want to come back."