TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) - A regional task force that included 26 Tallahassee firefighters headed east on Friday to help respond to Hurricane Matthew, and fortunately, they all returned safely Sunday night.
The team was staged in Lake City by the airport, waiting for further instruction from the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
However, the team was never called on because the storm's impact was weaker than expected.
Regardless, the task force said it was more than prepared to help wherever needed.
"It was exciting. We've been training for 11 years for this. This is our first actual deployment -- so actually getting all the guys together, fielding a team, getting all the equipment ready, putting trucks and getting on the road was very exciting for our personnel. A great learning experience for us," said Todd Notley, Assistant Division Chief of Special Operations.
The team included several specialists trained for different types of rescue. The task force was prepared to be out east for up to 72 hours with another team ready to go to replace them, if needed.
The task force is part of a larger state group called "Urban Search and Rescue".