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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With the very dangerous Hurricane Michael well past Florida’s Panhandle, the state has put a call out for additional resources to help out after the storm clears.
South Florida first responders have answered that call.
Late Wednesday afternoon, Miami-Dade Fire rescue sent an additional 35 members of Florida’s Task Force one to help out with rescue efforts.
PJ Parker, a Miami-Dade rescue firefighter, told CBS4 she and her rescue dog Bhodi just got home from helping out with Hurricane Florence.
She said, “it’s our passion, it’s what we do. Of course it’s hard to be away from family but this is what we’ve trained for.”
On Wednesday morning Miami Fire Rescue search and rescue personnel met up with first responders from Miami Beach Fire, Hialeah Fire, Sunrise Fire Rescue and Tamarac Fire Rescue in Pompano Beach.
They will caravan north to Ocala where they will stage until the brunt of Hurricane Michael has passed.
“As soon as I got the call, it took me two minutes to think about what will I need for the next week and I said ‘yeah, I’m in’,” said Max Lashin.
Lashin has been with Tamarac Fire Rescue for a little over a year and this is his first time being deployed to help out with a hurricane.
That’s also the case for Daniel Gamiotea who has been with Sunrise Fire Rescue for 12 years. He says heading to help in an unfamiliar area will be a challenge, but one he’s ready for.
“I’m nervous and excited. There’s going to be a lot of destruction, so hopefully we can just help out,” he said.
Lashin and Gamiotea are just two of the 40 first responders in this deployment who are prepared for whatever could come their way – putting out fires, emergency medical services, and search and rescue.
The Florida Highway Patrol is teaming up too. They activated what they call their quick reaction force team to caravan to the Panhandle.
John McNamara, the Fire Chief for the City of Sunrise, said the best way to help is working by working together.
“There’s not one agency, no matter how big or small, that can handle these sorts of incidences. We all pretty much collaborated and teamed up to say ‘hey, we’re here to help each other’,” he said.
The first responders deployed on Tuesday expect to be gone for a week to 10 days.
On Monday, Miami Fire Rescue’s Florida Task Force II headed to head to the Panhandle in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Michael.
The 80 member team, which specializes in swift water rescue and disaster response, took with them SUVs, box trucks, tractors and boats loaded with everything from food to medical supplies.
Many of the members on the team were in the Carolinas just last month responding to Hurricane Florence and performed over a 100 evacuations and several rescues.
Also on Monday, just 48 hrs. after returning from South Carolina, 45 members of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s Urban Search and Rescue Team Florida Task Force 1 were deployed to northern Florida. The unit also specializes in swift/floodwater rescue.