UPDATE, Sept. 12: Emergency crews from Butler County will not be deployed to Virginia as originally planned, but may be redirected to help in North Carolina as monster storm Hurricane Florence approaches.
MORE: Local groups gear up for Hurricane Florence aid: Here’s how you can help
Morgan Twp. Fire Chief Jeff Galloway told the Journal-News the plan to possibly go to Virginia has been scrubbed — it appears Florence is heading further south — so now they are working with EMA officials in North Carolina to see if they can help in relief efforts there.
FIRST REPORT, Sept. 11:
Emergency crews from Butler County were ramping up for a possible deployment to Virginia Tuesday, to help if that state is hit by Hurricane Florence.
Morgan Twp. Fire Chief Jeff Galloway told the Journal-News there is no specific mission assigned yet, but the Butler County Emergency Management Agency is “ramping up” in preparation for landfall from Hurricane Florence.
The crew should know later today if they will be deployed, he said.
MORE: Ohio Task Force 1 team deploys to North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Florence
“At this moment we have no mission assigned, just submitting a mission ready package of our capabilities to the state of Virginia,” Galloway said. “Virginia has requested five Incident Management Teams trained and qualified under the FEMA national standards, and we are filling out the necessary paperwork to deploy.”
Ross Twp. Fire Chief Steve Miller said the team’s trailer was packed Tuesday morning with the supplies for the 16 or 17 people who plan to make the trek.
When asked if he was nervous about potentially heading into the eye of a monster storm, he said: “We run head on into fires every day so it’s kind of what we do.”
This will not be the first time the team has been deployed to national disasters. As one of only a few accredited agencies in the state the IMT responded last year when Irma came through Florida and when hurricanes Irene and Sandy hit the U.S. in 2011 and 2012, respectively and other major events.
RELATED: Butler County emergency team joins Hurricane Irma relief effort
For Irma a 16-member incident management team made up of fire and police personnel from Butler County aided relief efforts from the state’s main command post in Tallahassee and further south in the state in areas hardest hit for two weeks.
The Butler County team coordinated the efforts of 28 other Incident Management Teams from around the country, deploying them to 50 missions.