First Responders Get Warm Welcome After Return From Keys

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It was a welcomed sight and sound for family and friends cheering the parade of fire rescue trucks and emergency vehicles returning to South Florida.

And the trucks cheered back, sounding their sirens like a victory song.

The men and women onboard were the fire firefighters and rescue teams who spent the week helping those affected by Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys.

Assistant Fire Chief Scott Dean from Florida Urban Search and Rescue was part of the team that helped find survivors in Key West.

“Looking for anybody that was trapped or missing, identify them, get them out and get them the care that they needed,” he said.

After a week of anxiety, a week of clean up, little sleep and no power, firefighters returning home were an overwhelming sight for some, overcome with emotions for the returning heroes.

It’s easy to forget they too are husbands and wives.

“This was a tough one because they had their own impacts here at home and they still had to leave their homes and families, so I am very proud of this group today,” said Chief Scott.

Some members of the rescue team were four-legged. Six search-and-rescue dogs were sent to find anyone trapped — and anyone who didn’t survive Irma’s deadly wrath. The canine search team and the human teams all made sacrifices, part of their call to duty, ensuring our safety before their own.

“At times like that, when you see so much destruction, you want to be with your family and loved ones,” said Jerry Rodriguez. “It was not that long but long enough to miss your loved ones.”

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