“We’re the lucky ones in the state to not get the full effects and damage from the hurricane,” said Burlington Fire Department’s Deputy Fire Chief Matt Lawrence. “We’re in a much better position to send resources now.”
After the state fire marshal called for fire stations to assist in flooded areas, Lawrence said there was no trouble getting a team together for the week-long mission.
“When we put out the information that we were considering this deployment, within 15 minutes we had 25 of our staff who were eager to help,” Lawrence said. “So, we’re really proud of them for stepping up and especially in this time of great need in our state. Eastern North Carolina has tremendous impact.”
First-class firefighter Adam Doss was one of those who stepped up for the storm.
“It feels very rewarding to be selected to go down there,” Doss said. “Some of those guys and girls have been down there working for seven or eight days preparing for when the storm hits. So it’s been rewarding to go and help those people who are there and are in need.”
Newport, North Carolina, has already seen about two feet of rain.
“We fully anticipate after a long day’s travel today that tomorrow, potentially even overnight tonight, they’ll be engaged in active water rescues that are happening there,” Lawrence said.
But there is a plan in place to maximize the aide Burlington’s fire department can offer.
“We’ve spread these four people out. We operate on three different shifts, so we’ve formulated a plan to minimize the impact on any specific shift,” Lawrence said. “It will not affect us on a daily basis here in the city of Burlington. We’ll still be providing the same level of service than we would on any other day.”