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Firefighters Head East to Assist Those Affected by Hurricane Matthew

Firefighters Head East to Assist Those Affected by Hurricane Matthew - 1
Posted at 9:43 PM, Oct 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-07 03:54:20-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) - More than two dozen firefighters with Task Force 7 left on Thursday and headed east to help those in need during Hurricane Matthew.

Florida's Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 7 includes specialists, a medical team, a mechanic, and a structural engineer. They said they were bringing 27 members and that they were prepared to help respond to the storm in anyway they can.

"With a hurricane, typically, it's going to be a lot of wind damage, we may have flood damage structures moved completely off their foundation. [With] Wind Damage, there may be roofs blown away, walls caved out. Anybody that is sheltered in place in a house that got destroyed; that's our job to go look for them," said John Bell, Task Force Structure Specialist.

The group said they are heading to Lake City to meet up with other crews. There, they will wait for further instruction about where they will be needed. 

The team said that they have enough food and supplies to be out there for 72 hours and if necessary, another team can swap in and replace them. 

Captain Mike Bellamy with the Tallahassee Fire Department said, "We saw so much support here in Tallahassee just about a month ago from other communities who helped us out, and it's great to be able to give back and go and help another community out. They don't know where they're going right now, but we know that we'll be going somewhere to help somebody out."

The task force has been training since 2005 for emergency situations. This is the first major deployment for the task force.