Louisiana Institute of Higher Education
#50 “Firestorm: Hurricane Katrina and the St. Bernard Fire Department”
2006-2007 History Lecture Series Season – June 4th, 2007
Michelle Buuck, Author
Thomas Stone, Chief, St. Bernard Parish Fire Department
Attendance – 206
Buuck led a discussion of the events chronicled in her book, Firestorm: Hurricane Katrina and the St. Bernard Fire Department. A Lecture Series regular, Buuck had three generations of ﬁreﬁghters in her family, had been a longtime writer for the Times-Picayune newspaper and had completed a book on the LeBeau Mansion in 2002. It was almost as if she had a unique calling to capture the heroism, uncertainty, and heartache of the members of the St. Bernard Fire Department who stayed for Katrina. Playing a leading role in the book and the lecture was Chief Thomas Stone who had been Fire Chief for seventeen years and a member of the St. Bernard Fire Department for twenty-nine years. He remained at the helm of his department throughout Katrina, leaving for only forty-eight hours three weeks after the storm. He, along with his ﬁreﬁghters, had been at the forefront of the recovery and rebirth of St. Bernard Parish. Also, several of the ﬁreﬁghters were on hand to recount personally some of the stories covered in the book.