SOUTH WALTON Fla. (WMBB) — As Louisiana begins to recover and rebuild from Hurricane Ida, panhandle first responders are stepping in to help.
A strike team from South Walton and Okaloosa counties are teaming up in the relief effort.
South Walton Fire District Chief Ryan Crawford is also the region one coordinator for the State Fire Marshal.
He is leading a group of 25 firefighters with five engines from the two western panhandle counties.
They are now in Thibodaux Louisiana to relieve local first responders who have been working nonstop.
These two dozen panhandle firefighters will fill in, so their Louisiana counterparts can take a few days off to check on their own families.
“We know what this is like, as of recent years with Hurricane Michael and Sally, they have been prime examples of hard impacts, flooding, widespread damages. So for these firefighters to be able to go pay it forward on another section of the gulf coast means the world to them,” said SWFD Public Information Officer Mackenzie McClintock.
Two SWFD members are also on the engine strike team. They will all be in Louisiana for about two weeks filling in wherever they are needed.