The ‘tempo has picked up dramatically’ for locals responding in aftermath of Hurricane Michael

The Butler County emergency responders on the ground and working around the clock in Bay County Florida said the “tempo has picked up dramatically” on their relief efforts.

EMA Director Matt Haverkos told this news organization the team of 11 has been tasked with supporting the human services coordinator at the county emergency command center on the Florida Gulf.

RELATED: Butler County emergency crews deploying to Florida ahead of Hurricane Michael

“Members were plugged into logistics roles, field reporting, and development and coordination of feeding …,” Haverkos said. “All members are in good health and supportive of the mission.”

Haverkos said they are also involved in volunteer and donation management. Cell phone service has been “sketchy at best,” but he said it is getting better as more than 19,000 utility crews work on the issue. The team headed down Wednesday and will be there for a couple of weeks.

This is not the first time the team has been deployed to national disasters.

As one of only a few accredited agencies in Ohio, Butler County’s Incident Management Team responded last year when Hurricane Irma came through Florida and when hurricanes Irene and Sandy hit the U.S. in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

For Irma, a 16-member team 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’s hardest hit areas for two weeks.

The crew was ready to deploy to Virginia last month when Hurricane Florence pummeled the East Coast, but it never got the order to go after the storm took a turn south.

“You take the same mind set,” Ross Twp. Fire Chief Steve Miller said, comparing fire fighting to natural disaster response. “You’re there to help people in need and it’s basically what we do on a day-to-day basis. It really never changes.”

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