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A Freight Train Screamin'


Price: $15.95 + $6.00 S&H

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This book is dedicated to memory of Capt. Richard McCurley. Capt. McCurley was a member of the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD), Engine 4. Capt. McCurley was stationed at the Bell South Building in East New Orleans along with 32 of his fellow firefighters as Katrina struck. He survived Katrina and the difficult days and months that followed.

On December 2, 2005, while being dispatched on a call related to a gas leak, the ladder truck McCurley was riding was involved in a collision.

Capt. McCurley died at the scene. It was reported that his last act was to secure the radio and make the call for aid for his injured men. He is missed by all who knew him.

This book also is also dedicated to the New Orleans Fire Department firefighters, the St. Bernard Parish firefighters, the many different Fire Departments from the across the country and the FEMA volunteer firefighters who arrived to help lift the Gulf Coast out of the clutches of chaos, desperation and destruction.

The men and women of the New Orleans Fire Department were deployed at 18 “Last Resort” locations throughout the city. Before the winds of Katrina had stopped blowing, many of these firefighters were setting up search grids, and rescuing people, getting them to dry areas for later evacuation. They worked for days with no communication to loved ones, very little communication between the various units, improvising, and saving people. Doing their jobs probably with dread in their hearts knowing they had probably lost their own homes as well. It is estimated that in the first few days after the storm they had rescued over 18,000 people.

You came to help, you gave of yourselves, and you spent long periods of time away from loved ones and family, in the name of helping your fellow citizens in their time of need. This book would not have been possible without your input, guidance,
suggestions, and support.

Cary Black



Sara Valor
“…Cary's storytelling of Katrina: A Freight Train Screamin' is entrancing, inspiring as well as heart-touchingly beautiful.

Bonnie Kaye
Cary was kind enough to send me a preview, and I have to admit that I was “wowed” not only by the stories, but also by the pictures which show vivid imagery of what that part of our country suffered so greatly. Cary tells the story in a way that makes the reader realize how far reaching the depth of this tragedy was. But his intent was not to just tell the story of pain and suffering—it was to show the bravery of the everyday people who live in that area.

Chief Jim O’Neill

“Thank you Cary for allowing me a sneak-peak at what is an almost a completed project. Your thoughtfulness is overwhelming. From the very beginning one can tell that a lot of effort, a lot of heart and a lot of soul has been poured into this book. I have only seen the first 17 or so chapters but you immediately see what was put into this endeavor. One thing that really impressed the shit out of me, (and it takes a lot to impress "Da Chief") was the research that one can see was done to ensure a complete and total picture of what the book is trying to express to the reader. Being a contributor and having been through a lot of what is expressed in the book it immediately transported me back to New Orleans; not only post-Katrina but pre-Katrina as well. I am looking forward to previewing the remainder of the book. One good thing about this, I don't have to buy it, LMAO.... only kidding Cary, you dun good my man, very, very good.” Stay safe out there everyone...........................Da Chief

Capt. Joseph Fincher, Engine 18, NOFD

So there we were; Captain Paul Hellmers and I at the New Orleans Fire Department headquarters in the center of the French Quarter…being interviewed by representatives from United States’ Senator Lieberman and Senator Snows’ committee investigating the federal response to Hurricane Katrina. In a moment of pride as we relayed stories of our colleagues’ heroism during and after Katrina, I blurted out “The fire department should be put in charge of everything!” …It suddenly occurred to me who I was talking to.

The truth is, had author Cary Black been there, he’d have backed me up with a vengeance. The man gets it…and documents it perfectly in his tour de force book Katrina: A Freight Train Screamin’.

Firefighters in the region as well as firefighters from around the country who came to assist after Katrina performed magnificently. Civilians of good will, by the hundreds…if not thousands assisted first responders and their neighbors without regard for their safety. This went largely unreported in the media. Black dives in deep, sets the record straight and performs group therapy for a region…and also for himself…something we all desperately need!

Article Links:


Examiner.com (Houston)

The Cypress Times

Daily Mountain Eagle


Ricky's field promotion            Katrina firefighter rescues

  Ricky McCurley recieving a field promotion to                        The Rescues

   Captain by Chief Parent


the wrath of katrina

          Her Wrath

                                                              post katrina fires drop

                                                              Helicopters helping in water drops, to aid firefighters

                                                              in fighting the post-Katrina fires.