Area rescue teams send expertise, special gear to help Harvey survivors

01 September 2017, 01:33 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Area rescue teams send expertise, special gear to help Harvey survivors

City firefighters Micah Haven left and Dave Werbinski prepare water-rescue gear early Thursday for a trip to the Texas disaster zone. The mission is expected to last about 10 days

The Knoxville Fire Department said Tuesday night they plan to send a swift water rescue team and equipment to help in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Local fire officials say they're happy to help the community, and provide relief to first responders that have been working around the clock to keep people safe.

The responders heading for Texas are only a portion of Vermont's swift water personnel, leaving sufficient coverage for the state should there be a need.

Vermont Task Force 1 Swift Water Rescue Team will perform evacuations and rescues in flooded areas. Crew members are also sometimes rotated out. Equipped with MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft, HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters and Guardian Angel teams (Pararescuemen, Combat Rescue Officers and SERE Specialists), the 129th Rescue Wing conducts combat search and rescue missions, as well as the rescue of isolated persons on board ships, lost or injured hikers, and medical evacuations across the West Coast.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback issued an executive order Wednesday waiving some fees and regulations for commercial vehicles traveling to Texas to help with relief. Donations made online should be done directly through the charity's website.

Rutland City firefighters from left Scott Mangan Micah Haven Nate Elwert Mike Delehanty Dave Werbinski and Lt. Dan Gedney
Area rescue teams send expertise, special gear to help Harvey survivors

The number of Harvey victims is expected to rise as recovery efforts continue.

Food banks in the affected areas of Texas and Louisiana, such as the Houston Food Bank and Corpus Christi Food Bank, could use cash donations, as could the Texas-based animal nonprofit Austin Pets Alive!, which had transported 330 animals to its shelter as of August 26 and is running out of storage space for donated supplies, according to NPR.

According to FEMA, financial contributions are the most effective form of aid, since they can be transferred quickly and used flexibly.

"They're going a long way and they're well needed down there", he said. Vermonters are urged to follow this guidance, which includes ensuring those interested in volunteering affiliate with an organization and do not self-deploy to the disaster.

"The state will be reimbursed by Texas, who will be reimbursed by the federal government".

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