Inside the Cajun Navy: How Volunteers are Training to Rescue Hurricane Victims | Freethink


[thunder crashing] If anybody’s gonna be
able to work with us, they have to be faster than the standard. This is not something you take on for fun. People are screaming for help. The Cajun Navy, a flotilla of volunteers from Louisiana. Just regular guys who say
they don’t wait for help, they are the help. [thunder cracking] The concept of civilian-led rescue is a paradigm shift for how rescues are gonna be conducted
from this point forward. [thunder booming] [distant boat engine whirring] [fast vehicles driving] Hey, Trey. I’m rolling on Basin Bridge right now, about to make that exit. The Cajun Navy is like
a loose conglomerate of people who came together when their neighbors needed help. Hurricane Katrina is essentially where the Cajun Navy started. Right now, we’re headed
to the Atchafalaya Basin for tomorrow’s search and rescue games. One of the things that
gets misconstrued the most is that everybody out there
doing Cajun Navy stuff are just a bunch of
cowboys from Cajun country, don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t realize that
we’re training ourselves to be first responders to
a FEMA standard at least. Which is the internationally
accepted standard. [somber violin music] I’m Leo. Papa Leo is my nickname, I’m one of the older ones in the group. And now that I’m retired, this is my way of giving back, you know? Alright, talk to you later. This is training, this is familiarization for the upcoming hurricane season. The bad news is we’re hearing
2018 may be a bad year. The idea for SAR games
was kind of organic. Like we needed to find
a way to go practice. So we set up a mock rescue scenario. With 600 rescues that
need to be conducted, we indicated this by taking little flags and we just tied ’em off to a tree that’s within arm’s reach. PAPA LEO: Wow, this guy did a good job of hiding right here. What we’re relying on is a lot of tech. So when the boaters arrive, what they have to do is
get onto Zello and Glympse, that’s how we’re gonna talk to them and visually track them, real-time. Dispatchers, they’re
gonna get all the rescues that need to happen and dispatch from the
Zello app that we use. The other thing that we’re
focusing on is Glympse so we can see them and they can see us. So we can do real-time tracking. We’re exposing everybody
to that whole concept and getting people trained and ready for when something happens again. [twangy banjo music] This is our inaugural event, we’ve never done one of these before. And there’s a lot of eyes on us. It’s all about being
there for our neighbors, whether it be here in
Louisiana or in Texas or wherever it is, we’re
there when they need us. Each plot of flags… Okay, each flag represents
a person in that house. Four flags per boat, per run. Like don’t fit more people in your boat. There’s a big difference
between people and flags but this is still excellent training for how to recover people
from that location. Ladies and gentlemen at the siren we’re gonna start the
Cajun Navy Summer Games. Three! Two! One! [sirens blaring] It’s alright, good luck, y’all! What is this all about? Civilians can make a difference,
they can do something and accomplish amazing things
when they work together. A flag! It’s a flag, oh my God, oh my God! So you have two F-14 flags, correct? Woo! We’re making it up as we go. This hasn’t been done before. We’re striking out in our own way to find the right way to go about this. People find strengths
they never knew they had. Go on straight ahead, Gord. Why does it exist? Because you don’t sit around and wait for somebody to come
take care of a problem that you have in your front yard. The government’s gonna do what they do, but we can still do what we do and make a huge difference. The heart of it is that you have to rely on your neighbor. Teamwork makes the dream work. Two golden eggs in this match. How do you make a mark on this world, to contribute to society as a whole? To know that I’m a part of something that’s gonna be a shining
example of what Cajun is, that’s a driving factor. To see a legacy established
by a group of nobodies. Team number 10, team 10. You are the winner of the grand prize. Thank you all again very
much for participating. We all made a lot of progress today. And we all had a good time. Thank you all very much, good job. Alright, take care. Bring it in. [audience applauding] The need is there. We’re not trying to be superhuman. We’re just ordinary people. There’s people’s lives whose
lives we can greatly impact and whose lives we can save. That makes a difference. [serene music]

33 thoughts on “Inside the Cajun Navy: How Volunteers are Training to Rescue Hurricane Victims | Freethink

  1. Man, these people are really awesome. During the Great Flood of 2016 they helped a lot of people. One of the things I like most about em which the video kinda glanced over was that they donโ€™t see themselves as better able than the government or government organization, theyโ€™re humble in that they work along with such programs as well as their fellow Louisianaian

  2. They were crucial during Katrina because the government didn't respond quickly or effectively enough. While I'm grateful they are willing and able to help, I'm afraid that reliance on local civilian volunteers will encourage governments to invest less in disaster relief and prevention

  3. Hats off to the Cajun Navy! The People of our city of San Francisco needs to come up with a way to deal with the homeless crisis and its going to have to come from the people who live here. The Cajun Navy is a great model of what can happen when people come together for a crisis but our current crisis was a slow moving train wreck and now is overwhelming, but has many of the elements that come with natural disaster. Big and complex problem to try to solve and I feel like the eyes of the Nation are on us to see how we handle it,. As news about other big cities having the same problem with homelessness is made known it seems like they are waiting to follow our example. So this appears to be a National problem which makes me wonder what went wrong and how to fix it? Any ideas?

  4. That's an amazing initiative. I am a bit curious about their reliance on technology. I survived the recent disaster at Puerto Rico and we lost power, internet, and pretty much all other services. One big lesson I took from that was that high tech electronics start failing after 30-40 hours of use with generators, particularly computers. Also, the cellular network is very sensitive to high winds. Most of the high tech carriers were offline for months and only one carrier who still had low tech antennae was in partial operation. Landlines were affected too, leaving many areas without any comms at all for weeks or months. They may need an old school, low tech, backup such as Ham radio for communication and radio direction finders for navigation.

  5. The thought of civilians directing and performing search and rescue operations in the US is not a new one. The Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the US Air Force, has been conducting SAR missions for downed aircraft since WWII and are integrated with the USAF's Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service and their Rescue Coordination Center. The idea of tad Cajun Navy is a good one, but they shouldn't waste incredible amounts of time, effort, and money reinventing the wheel. If they are truly serious about becoming an effective SAR unit, the Cajun Navy should coordinate their actions and training with the CAP, the USCG Auxiliary, FEMA, and the various respective state emergency management agencies. If they did that, they would make a quantum leap in their effectiveness as a SAR force. Or they could just play at being a rescue organization.

  6. Thank God for the Cajun navy they Make America Great๐Ÿ—ฝ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ—ฝ๐Ÿšฃ vote Trump 2020. Get R Done

  7. Next year they'll be doing HALO jumps placing Flameless Flare LED's in the hots spots for the 2nd incoming wave of CN personnel

  8. The government has to focus on safety to the extent that they spend time doing a bunch of meetings and planning and changing of plans whereas the Cajun Navy can just wing it and get the job done still with a respectable amount of safety and or take their time to ensure complete safety depending on the severity of the needed rescue as the government chimes in its to risky.

  9. Great job and keep up the great work everyone. I met a bunch of you during hurricane Harvey. High water Heros. thanks ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ•Šโค๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

  10. THIS A BEAUTIFUL THING GUYS BUT I THINK THE PROBLEM HERE IS IN THE PROCESS OF FULLFILLING ALL THESE WONDERFUL THINGS YOUR DOING…… ITS KIND OF NOT FAIR TO SOUND A LITTLE LIKE YOUR BELITTLING OUR MILITARY. NEVER ONCE DID I HEAR YOU GUYS SAY WERE JUST HERE TO BE A HELP TO OUR MILITARY IF NEED BE WITHOUT A COST. DONT FORGET THEM GUYS. COME ON. LIKE YOUR SHIRTS SAY ""DONT WAIT FOR HELP """ ETC. FEELS LIKE YOUR SAYING OUR MILITARY IS SAVEING YOU FAST ENOUGH SO WELL STEP IN AND DO IT. I ALSO NOTICED YOU GUYS MADE COMMENTS LIKE YOU GUYS JUMP IN AND SAVE WHEN THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT. I JUST AM AFRAID YOUR UNFOLDING THE MOST BEAUTIFULLEST THING HERE AND AT THE SAME MAYBE ACCIDENTLY DOWN GRADEING OUR MILITARY. THE ONES THAT ARE NOT SAVED IM SURE OUR MILITARY WOULD NEVER LEAVE BEHIND PURPOSELY. WHY NOT JUST BE THE GROUP THAT TAKES A LIL WEIGHT OF LOAD OFF THE MILITARY TO LOVE AND RESCUE OTHERS THAT THE MILITARY MAYBE MISSED IN A TRAGEDY LIKE THIS. ID JUST BE CAREFUL OF REUINING A BEAUTIFUL START OF WHAT COULD BE A GREAT A GROUP. JUST SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT . AT THE END OF THE DAY YOU GUYS ARE ON YOUR OWN. THE MILITARY'S JOURNEY NEVER ENDS. ILL JUST STOP THERE. IM JUST A LIL CONFUSED ON THINGS I NOTICED. IVE HEARD OF YOU BUT I DIDNT REALIZE YOU MADE COMMENTS ON YOUR SHIRT LIKE THAT OR SAID THOSE THINGS. I DONT KNOW SOMETHING JUST DONT FEEL RIGHT. I NEVER HEARD YOU SAY…. WERE HERE TO BE A TEAM TO OUR MILITARY WITHOUT A COST . SIMPLY THAT.

  11. I am thankful for all of you in the "cajun army" and for everyone who has ever taken it apon themselves to save lives during natural disaster in particular.
    I truly wish the men and women who I did search and rescue, evacuations and animal rescues with here in Puna Hawaii for the entire duration of the 2018 volcanic eruption could be recognize like this. Many of us lost our jobs to help our community. Many of us will never be the same. We went into area's that the first responders wouldn't even go near to rescue people, animals and retrieve people's extremely important family heirlooms and such from their homes. Many were being consumed by lava as we were pulling their stuff out. Even organized fishing boats to take homeowners in to the lavalocked area's by pohoiki boat ramp then guided them to their homes to get their sentimental belongings.
    To keep us alive through the poisonous gasses coming from the lava vents popping up all around us as we charged in I spent every dime I had to buy 3M full face respirators for the group of guy's I had with me in two of my flatbed trucks with big trailer's. It was like a war zone. I served my country in the U.S. Army infantry from 1998-2005 and never went through that much stress there.
    I imagine it was very similar in the floods there so I feel emince pride in your actions.
    Aloha Kฤkou brothers and sisters โค๐Ÿค™๐ŸผโœŠ๐Ÿผ

  12. The sacrifices made by you ( the cajun navy ) under such honorable conditions should never go un-noticed..The word heroes comes to mind and that's a title that starts in your heart and it makes you humble…I tip my hat to the ladies and gentlemen that make up this group of Americans that we can be most proud of and grateful to..thank you

  13. You know what? If I win the lottery (only way I'll ever be rich enough), I am going to invest in this! Boats, comms, training, infrastructure, etc! Not to take it over or "be somebody" with it, but just to make sure these fine Americans have what they need to do what they're going to do, regardless!

  14. This is awesome!
    Who ever gave a thumbs down .. I wonder if they were stuck in a flood for days.. Would they be committed to giving them a thumbs down and refuse help? Hmmm
    Keep up the good work!

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