City of Miami sends special response team to Carolinas ahead of Florence

MIAMI (WSVN) - Firefighters from the City of Miami are headed to the Carolinas to offer assistance as Hurricane Florence threatens to devastate the country’s East Coast.

The 80 member team left South Florida Wednesday morning and is heading to Columbia, South Carolina. The goal is to make it to the Carolinas before the storm, so they can jump into action as soon as the storm passes.

“You take away that response time of having them drive up Florida, all the way to Carolina, so we’ve knocked out several hours of response time by pre-staging them there,” said Miami Fire Capt. Ignatius Carroll.

This team includes water rescue specialists, doctors and search and rescue dogs among its numbers.

“You have personnel from Hialeah, from Pembroke Pines, from Miramar. We have civilian doctors, also civilian K9 handlers as well,” Carroll said.

The same task force has already sent a team to the Carolinas. However, FEMA wants to ramp up resources in the area.

“With the amount of equipment that they have in these trucks, this allows them to be self-sufficient for about two weeks,” said Miami Fire Capt. Ignatius Carroll. “They have everything from food. We have extra uniforms. They have what they call BOOs, their base of operations, which allows them to set up sleeping quarters for them as well but also, whatever additional equipment we may need.”

After Florence passes through the area, the first responders will go on search and rescue missions to help those affected by the storm. However, until then, they will wait out the storm

“Until it hits land and until it either clears enough for rescuers or responders to get out there and initiate operations, they need to be in an area that’s safe enough for them to pre-stage,” Carroll said. “They’re also watching the storm to see which direction it takes.”

There is also another team like this one that stays in South Florida just in case they are needed locally.

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