Tuesday, September 06, 2005

"Stuck in Atlanta drinking beer."

7:02 P.M. - ATLANTA (AP): Hundreds of firefighters have been sitting in Atlanta, playing cards and taking FEMA history classes, instead of doing what they came to do: help hurricane victims.

The volunteers traveled south and west from around the country, leaving their homes in places like Washington state, Pennsylvania and Michigan. They came after FEMA put out a call for two-thousand firefighters to help with community service.

Firefighters arrived, as told, with lifesaving equipment and sleeping bags.

But one of the waiting volunteers says it might have been better if they'd brought paper and cell phones. That's because some of the emergency responders are being told they will go to South Carolina, to do paperwork.

Others don't know where they'll be put in action.

The FEMA director in charge of firefighters says he's trying to get the volunteers deployed ASAP, but wants to make sure they go to the right place.

One firefighter points to nightly reports of hurricane victims asking how they were forgotten. He says, "we didn't forget, we're stuck in Atlanta drinking beer."

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