Local fire and rescue crews preparing to be deployed to Houston - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Local fire and rescue crews preparing to be deployed to Houston

Posted: Updated:
Capt. Salvador Melendez Capt. Salvador Melendez

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Houston firefighters need help, and local fire and rescue crews are prepared to respond to the call.

Twenty-eight firefighters from Louisville and Harrods Creek are waiting to be deployed. When that happens, they'll head to Houston to join the search and rescue mission.

"I am expecting pretty much the worst-case scenario," said Capt. Tony Downes with Louisville Fire & Rescue.

Downes is prepared for the potentially lifesaving mission.

"Once we got the phone call, we started," he said. "I went home, grabbed some items, picked my kids up, told them bye, my wife bye."

This week, Louisville was called on to help with hurricane relief in Houston. Two teams are expected to be deployed.

"That is a conjunction of Harrods Creek Fire Department and members from the Louisville Division of Fire," said Capt. Salvador Melendez, Public Information Officer with Louisville Fire & Rescue. "Each of us is sending up 14 members."

Melendez said crews are not traveling empty handed.

"We are taking all of our equipment that would allow our members to do their job ... if we had a local emergency here," he said.

In Houston, Tropical Storm Harvey has destroyed thousands of homes, and people are being evacuated and rescued by boats. That's what Louisville crews are prepared to do when they are officially deployed.

"What is required of us at this time is to assist with the rescue efforts in Houston, and what is required now is swift water specialists," Melendez said.

Their bags are packed, the vehicles are loaded and the rescue boat has been inspected.

Downes and fellow firefighters are ready for the mission, no matter how long it takes.

"Feels good to go and help out," he said. "I'll be prepared to stay until they send us home."

Local fire and rescue crews are still waiting for approval to be deployed. Once that happens, they're expected to be in Houston for at least one week.

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