Hurricane Katrina shook the entire Gulf Coast to the core, rocking not only its foundation but the people living there. Reflecting on the storm 10 years later, there are some memories I wish I could forget, but others that make me proud.

I’m so thankful for the thousands of volunteers who gave their time to help our area when we needed it the most. Our medics cared for and evacuated hundreds of patients from New Orleans and we were privileged to work with first responders, other medical professionals and government leaders from across the nation.

The number of other volunteers, doctors, nurses and more than 50 ambulance companies in our EMS family that offered to help was overwhelming. Ordinary citizens came by the dozens and donated food, supplies and offered anything they could. Many had lost their own homes and possessions but worked for days on end in circumstances we couldn’t have imagined, never losing sight of one mission: to help save a life.

While all of us were tested beyond the limits with the aftermath of Katrina, we were also immeasurably blessed by the compassion and support of so many. These are the memories I will keep close to my heart.

Richard E. Zuschlag

chairman and CEO, Acadian Ambulance