Goldsboro firemen head to Gulf to repay the favor
By Jack Stephens
Published in News on September 8, 2005 1:49 PM
Two Goldsboro firefighters left today to assist search and rescue efforts along the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Lt. Rob Loreman and Firefighter Jourdon Pope are responding to a national disaster, just as others helped Wayne County in 1999 after Hurricanes Dennis, Floyd and Irene.
"I'm excited about them going, because they're excited," Fire Chief Bobby Greenfield said Wednesday. "I want to assist the residents there the way we were assisted during Hurricane Floyd. A lot of individuals assisted us. This is the way the Fire Department and the city of Goldsboro will help those in need."
Goldsboro Fire Lt. Rob Loreman, left, and Firefighter Jourdon Pope are ready today to leave the Kinston Airport for a flight to Atlanta.
"I'm excited and ready to go," Pope said Wednesday. "...It's something in your blood. Chief asked me if I was scared. I said, 'No, but I'm a little bit nervous.' It's going to be an experience."
"I'm looking forward to it," Loreman said. "I was watching TV, saw the devastation and felt in my heart it was right to go down there and help. ... It's the least we can do."
Greenfield said FEMA had asked the nation's fire services to send at least 1,000 two-person teams of career firefighters to the Gulf Coast to give the local firefighters a break in search and rescue operations.
Loreman and Pope, who were selected by Greenfield from several applicants, flew today from Kinston to Atlanta, where they will undergo federal training for two days before being deployed until at least Oct. 8.
After they are inoculated and finish their training, they will be sworn in as Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, personnel. They will be issued badges and cell phones and be given orders to report to Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama.
Pope said Greenfield asked him if he wanted to go, and the firefighter said he would love to.
Pope and Loreman submitted their applications Friday and were notified Tuesday by Greenfield that they had been accepted.
"It has been real quick, sooner than I thought," Pope said.
"What they're doing -- I'm at a loss for words -- they'll witness things we'll never see in Goldsboro," Greenfield said.
Both were selected as the department's Firemen of the Year -- Loreman in 1997 and Pope in 2004 -- during the Goldsboro Jaycees annual banquet.
Loreman joined the department in 1994 and was promoted to engineer and then to lieutenant in 2003. He is assigned to B-shift at the No. 2 station on Royall Avenue. He and his wife, Leigh Ann, have three daughters.
Pope joined the department in 2000 and is assigned to A-shift at the No. 2 station. He has a 3-year-old son. He and his wife, Jessica, are expecting their first child early next year.
Pope also serves as the training officer for the Mar Mac Volunteer Fire Department. His wife also is a Mar Mac firefighter.
Greenfield said that when Loreman and Pope return, he might send two more firefighters, depending on the magnitude of the situation in the Gulf.
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