SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The Shreveport Fire Department is sending 15 Urban Search and Rescue technicians to South Texas to help with Harvey aftermath.
The crews will join other law enforcement and first responders in assisting with rescue efforts in the Port Arthur - Beaumont area.
KSLA News 12 met up with the USAR team members before they left Thursday morning on the mission that could last up to 14 days.
"It's something we look forward to. We train for everything and we just hope we always get to use our training somewhere other than Shreveport sometimes on a national level," said Shreveport Fire Department Captain Roger Schumacher.
The request was received through an Emergency Management Assistance Compact [EMAC] from the Office of the Louisiana State Fire Marshal, requesting these specially trained firefighters.
The devastation in south Texas hits close to home for KSLA News 12's Eric Pointer, who caught up with a close friend from college who lives in the area and is suffering from the aftermath.
"We've been through storms. We've been through Rita, we've been through Ike. And it's never been this amount of flooding," said Lauren Smith.
Smith, who lives in Beaumont, says the story that made national news about a toddler found clinging to her drowned mother happened not far from her house.
"It gets really real. Even though there's not water in my house, but they're finding people washed up on my street."
Smith has had family members who needed to be rescued but also family members that have done some of the saving. Including her brother who helped rescued disable people stuck on a bus that got water logged.
"At one point they say that there was like a hundred boats lined up just trying to get in to help people," said Smith. "So there's not any lack of rescue efforts and people that are helping and giving their whole hearts to each other."
Members of the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol are also heading to the Port Arthur area.
The CPSO Marine Patrol unit is trained in swift-water rescues and includes three divers and three deputies assigned to the Louisiana Sheriff's Association Task Force, which requested the assistance.
The Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office Swift Water Rescue Team also headed to Orange, Texas, to help with rescue efforts on Thursday morning.
The additional help is something local residents like Smith say they appreciate.
"Texas and Louisiana have been through it all in the last few years. It's just nice to have the support and feel that love from other states," said Smith.