MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Firefighters are prepared to help Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands as Tropical Storm Dorian approaches the islands.
FEMA hads placed the department on alert to possible fly out Monday ahead of any potential impacts. Sunday night, firefighters went the Miami Fire Rescue headquarters to start packing equipment.
“We want to make sure the locals there get the most immediate assistance possible. So, that if there’s any life-threatening situations, they can be treated and cared for,” Miami Assistant Fire Chief Scott Dean said.
Monday afternoon the team was called for deployment to St. Coix. They planned to leave late in the afternoon or early evening.
A team of roughly 20 firefighters is a part of what’s called “Florida Task Force Two”. They respond to natural disasters or the threat of one.
“We are self-contained and we don’t have to rely on anybody but ourselves. We even bring our own medical equipment and a medical doctor with us,” Dean said.
The islands are still recovering from Hurricane Maria’s impact back in 2017. Although Dorian is not forecasted to be near the strength of Maria, they’re not taking any chances.
“We try not to think of the bad but there’s always a worst-case scenario but our job is to always help and that’s what we are doing,” Dean said.
Firefighters have helped put after Harvey in Texas and Maria in Puerto Rico.
Monday, at 5 p.m., 45 members of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s Urban Search and Rescue Team FL-TF1 were informed they would be deployed to San Juan, Puerto Rico ahead of Tropical Storm Dorian.