Louisiana emergency personnel deploying to Carolinas to assist with Hurricane Florence

Louisiana emergency personnel deploying to Carolinas to assist with Hurricane Florence
Louisiana emergency personnel are deploying to the Carolinas as part of teams to help with Hurricane Florence support missions. (Source: GOHSEP)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Almost 100 emergency responders from across Louisiana will be deploying to North and South Carolina to assist local authorities there respond to Hurricane Florence.

The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is coordinating the first responders through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) system.

The EMAC offers assistance such as personnel, equipment, and commodities to other states during governor-declared states of emergency or disasters.

Firefighters in the EMAC group will be bringing basic search and rescue equipment, along with boast, ATVs, and trucks.

Most of nearly 100 emergency personnel have begun the 10-12 hour drive to the Carolinas, where they will be stationed for nine days.

Officials say the duration of their deployment could be extended as well as the base of the operations. The group will move throughout the region’s based on its needs and weather conditions.

Over 39 firefighters from the Baton Rouge area will be deployed in Columbia, South Carolina.

The Louisiana Office of the State Fire Marshal is providing a swift water rescue team and an urban search and rescue team to South Carolina. Each teams includes 36 personnel. The office is also providing an 18 person, incident support team.

The New Orleans Fire Department is deploying a four person, emergency operations center support team to assist authorities in North Carolina.

Louisiana State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says the state has received an outpouring of assistance for past emergencies and natural disasters. So it’s important to answer the call for help in the Carolinas.

They’ve been training for years to do this. Louisiana is really the model. Louisiana perfected a lot of this wide-area, building-to-building search and rescue. A lot of states look to us in times of emergency. Louisiana does not have the resources to handle a major event by itself like the Carolinas are doing now. So it’s imperative that we have relationships - we share our resources when other people need them and other people come to us.
Louisiana State Fire Marshal Butch Browning
“For anybody that joins a fire service, it’s more of a calling. You kind of recruit people to come, but it’s more or less people coming to us. You don’t know what the storm is going to do. You don’t know where they need us. If they knew where they needed us, all the people would be gone and there would be nothing there. You have to have that will to go out there and help people and put aside everything you’re doing at the moment to go do that job."
Paul Pinsonat, Baton Rouge area firefighter

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