After Hurricane Ida left all of New Orleans and much of its surrounding area without power, the call went out for help.

HCA, which is part owner of Rapides Regional Medical Center, owns several facilities in the New Orleans area, notably Tulane Medical Center in downtown New Orleans, and Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington. Both facilities were running on generator power and needed any help available.

Cannonball Sasser, RRMC’s director of engineering, was only too glad to answer the call.

“During the ice storm, Tulane came and helped us out,” said Sasser, referring to February’s back-to-back ice storms within the same week that crippled Central Louisiana.

George DeFeo (CAD/office assistance), Bobby Ducote (painter) and Shane Snodgrass (carpenter) went to Lakeview for a week, while Jathan McKay (carpenter) and Paul Morgan (plumber) spent 10 days at Tulane.

“On the way down, we saw a lot damage,” said DeFeo. “There were entire subdivisions draped in blue tarps.”

“We were glad to help out so their staff could go check on their own homes,” said Morgan, who helped set up temporary washing machines for Tulane employees. HCA also trucked in gas tankers to provide employees with gas to run home generators.

For Ducote, it was an easy decision to travel to Covington and help.

“I’d go again tomorrow if they called,” said McKay.