Dalton firefighters pose

Courtesy of Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency on Facebook. 

Four Dalton firefighters are en route to Louisiana to give local fire crews a break, nine days after Hurricane Ida devastated that region.

The four are among 10 Massachusetts firefighters who agreed to provide mutual aid to their colleagues in Louisiana. The full group mustered out of Lee early Tuesday morning for a 24-hour drive to New Orleans.

Crew members from departments in Carlisle and Lynnfield are also taking part. Massachusetts is one of 21 states sending help through what’s known as the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.

Once they arrive in Baton Rouge, the Dalton firefighters will be assigned to help departments in areas hit hardest by the storm, which came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 mph and left at least one million people without power by Aug. 30.

The Dalton firefighters participating are Brian Sears, Nico Amuso, Jordan Anderson and Zachary Morrissey.

Fire Chief Gerald J. Cahalan Jr. said the team expects to be in Louisiana for two weeks. By deploying to Louisiana, the outside crews will be able to give local firefighters respite.

“While in Louisiana, Massachusetts personnel will supplement and relieve personnel at local stations, handling incoming calls for service that may include anything from medical aid to structure fire suppression,” Jake Wark, a spokesman for the state Department of Fire Services, said in a statement.

The Louisiana governor’s office requested help through the compact late last week. The Department of Fire Services and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency recruited participants from the Bay State. Hurricane Ida hit 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina.

The Dalton firefighters are bringing their own turnout gear for use down south, including the self-contained breathing apparatus, according to Wark.

Cahalan said that of the crew dispatched to Louisiana, one person, Nico Amuso, is a full-time member of his department. Cahalan said the companies that employ the three “call” firefighters allowed them to be part of the response. They include Lenco Armored Vehicles Inc. of Pittsfield, Baystate Health Systems of Springfield and Shakerley Fire Truck Sales, in Round Lake, N.Y.

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com and 413-588-8341.

Investigations editor

Larry Parnass joined The Eagle in 2016 from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where he was editor in chief. His freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant, CommonWealth Magazine and with the Reuters news service.