Dickinson firefighters convoy to Baton Rouge, help with Hurricane Ida recovery efforts

Over the course of the coming days, approximately 1,500 firefighters will respond to the Baton Rouge, La., area.

From left, Dickinson firefighter Hunter Flynn, senior firefighter Alaynea Decker, firefighter Mason Geiger and Deputy Chief Mark Selle stand in front of the City of Dickinson Public Safety Center Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, before heading off to Baton Rouge, Lousiana, to help with recovery aid after Hurricane Ida. (Contributed / Dickinson Fire Department)
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Three firefighters and a deputy chief from the Dickinson Fire Department have joined an outfit from the Williston Fire Department and Williston Rural Fire Department and are off to Baton Rouge, La., to help Gulf residents recover from the devastation of Hurricane Ida.

The Dickinson Fire Department team includes Deputy Fire Chief Mark Selle, senior firefighter Alaynea Decker, firefighters Hunter Flynn and Mason Geiger, and they departed at 8 a.m. Saturday from the City of Dickinson Public Safety Center on State Avenue. On late Sunday evening, the team arrived at the staging area where they will receive further instruction. The Dickinson and Williston teams will assist supplement staffing for fire departments in the affected Baton Rouge area.

As part of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, this group is responding to the call for mutual aid that was issued for 225 firefighters from all across the United States. Over the course of the coming days, approximately 1,500 firefighters will respond to the Baton Rouge area.

"We are honored to be able to help support the recovery efforts in Louisiana," Dickinson Fire Chief Jeremy Presnell said. "We are also grateful for the collaboration with the Williston Fire Department and the Williston Rural Fire Department with this effort. Our firefighters, without hesitation, answered the call and we are extremely proud of them."

On Wednesday, Sept. 1, six firefighters from the Bismarck Rural and Williston fire departments gathered in Bismarck to receive instructions before heading to the storm-ravaged area.


In Louisiana, the North Dakota firefighters will use their 2,500-gallon and 3,000-gallon water tenders to aid Baton Rouge fire officials suppress structure fires. Throughout history, North Dakota has provided emergency support to other states when natural disasters have occurred such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the 2011 Mississippi River floods, Hurricane Maria in 2017 in Puerto Rico, in Hawaii with the 2018 volcanic eruption and the Oregon 2020 wildfires.

The group of North Dakota firefighters is expected to return in late September.

Jackie Jahfetson is a graduate of Northern Michigan University whose journalism path began in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as a freelancer for The Daily Mining Gazette. Her previous roles include editor-in-chief at The North Wind and reporter at The Mining Journal in Marquette, Mich. Raised on a dairy farm, she immediately knew Dickinson would be her first destination west as she focuses on gaining aptitude for ranch life, crop farming and everything agriculture. She covers hard news stories centered on government, fires, crime and education. When not fulfilling deadlines and attending city commission meetings, she is a budding musician and singer.
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