SOUTH WALTON, Fla. (WMBB) — South Walton Fire District is one of many agencies from the Panhandle aiding in Hurricane Ian recovery.
South Walton firefighters deployed to South Florida the day Hurricane Ian devastated the area.
The first crew of firefighters returned from their deployment to Englewood on Friday evening.
“The guys had to cut their way into some homes the streets were inaccessible the homes were damaged so there was a lot of work to be done just to access the patients for some of the calls,” SWFD District Chief John Adams said.
Powell and his crew spent the next ten days running all of their calls from medical responses, to gas leaks, and downed power lines.
“Our initial mission was with Englewood Fire Department, they have five stations and we have to bring five fire trucks, so we put one of our fire trucks at each one of our stations and we were running their calls for them so some of their guys could rest some of their guys could go back to their houses that they haven’t been to yet,” SWFD Lieutenant Chris Powell said.
Adams said he was glad they could help the agencies that came to their rescue after Hurricane Michael.
“It was a great feeling,” Adams said. “It was nice to repay the favor there were a lot of crews that came into the area during Michael that provided assistance to our guys and to local agencies and it was wonderful to be able to give that assistance back and repay that favor.”
A fresh crew of firefighters from South Walton Fire District, Lynn Haven Fire and Emergency Services, Bay County Emergency Services, Panama City Fire Department and Niceville Fire Department arrived in Sanibel Island on Saturday to continue providing resources for the areas devastated by Hurricane Ian.
“They are doing exactly what our crews before were doing in Englewood,” SWFD Public Information Officer Mackenzie McClintock said. “They are responding to calls helping out the community and backfilling for Sanibel Island Fire to be able to provide those firefighters some relief and provide some helping hands.”
This group of firefighters expects to be in Sanibel Island for at least a week.