Four members of the Chapel Hill Fire Department were deployed to Houston to help relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey.
The four are a part of a regional Urban Search and Rescue team made up of members from Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh Fire Departments. In total, 17 personnel were sent to Houston from the task force.
“Our team deployed on Thursday of last week," Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Lawrence said. "We anticipated a nine-day deployment and we’ve heard from them today and they are returning today. We expect them back tomorrow night in anticipation of the potential impact of Hurricane Irma here.”
The team is one of the few tier urban search and rescue teams in the region and was formed in the early 2000s in response to 9/11 and hurricane impacts in North Carolina.
“It allows us the capability and access to resources and trained personnel that we may need,” Lawrence said. “Thank goodness these are the types of events that don’t occur very often, but when they do they take a significant amount of resources, some very specialized training and equipment.”