Butler County EMA team working in Florida for Hurricane Dorian relief

The Butler County Emergency Management Agency has boots on the ground in Florida and is helping coordinate rescue efforts in preparation for if Hurricane Dorian.

EMA Director Matt Haverkos said 13 members of the Incident Management Team are in the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee, Florida, coordinating resources as the state braces for the Category 3 hurricane.

“Our team is actively working … every day in the emergency operations center, they’re in there now, creating missions, there’s like 1,100 missions in the system the last time I checked, in Florida,” Haverkos said. “So our guys are sifting through those 1,100 missions and creating work orders and then going out and spotting out the locations and getting people in place.”

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones — who wants to take over EMA operations for the county — contacted the state EMA late last week notifying them he has resources that can help the effort as well. His swift water rescue team has not been deployed.

“At this point in time we have not been asked, we submitted out mission ready package to the state,” Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer said. “There was a request that went out for some swift water rescue teams and we do have a team that’s available.”

Dwyer said the location that needs help sends out requests for specific resources across the country. Each state emergency management agency then works with the county EMAs to set up missions.

“I’m assuming they found other teams maybe closer by,” Dwyer said.

The IMT team, which is composed of firefighters and EMS personnel from more than a dozen Butler County and southern Warren County fire departments, departed Saturday morning for Florida. Haverkos said when the mission came in, the request was for 17 people but they waiting to see how the unpredictable storm progresses.

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