Local firefighters assist in S.C. flood rescue efforts
Several Tennessee agencies are in South Carolina to assist in flood rescue efforts. Four firefighters from Bradley County are among those fighting high waters north of Charleston to help stranded residents to safety.
"The first day they were there, they made a recovery of a 17-year-old that was clinging to a tree," said Bradley County Fire & Rescue Chief Troy Maney.
Since the crew left on Saturday, Maney has been getting periodic updates on some of the more dramatic rescues.
"I've tried to talk to them a couple times today. Normally, it goes to voice mail. When they call me back, it's hit or miss whether we can get phone reception," he said.
The team of 3 full-time firefighters and 1 volunteer from Chattanooga took a rescue boat, a raft, and two jetskis with them.
By Monday, they had rescued 30 people from one neighborhood, and at least 30 additional families in that same subdivision were still needing help.
Around daybreak, the team pulled five people from a mobile home that was partially submerged.
"One of them was an elderly woman. The other one was an amputee that couldn't get out."
The Tri-State Mutual Aid Association asked local departments to help, according to Maney. The team of 47 fire & rescue agencies from Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee help each other during emergencies & natural disasters.
"If it was happening here, we know we could get those resources brought to us."
While the local group anticipates coming home by next week, more are on standby if needed.
"We've got another crew that we can deploy if need be, when these guys wanna come home and need a break," Maney explained. "They're just playing it by ear to see what the water does, when it will crest and start going down."
More than 80 firefighters from agencies across the state are in South Carolina right now. According to TEMA, this is Tennessee's largest support effort to another state in an emergency since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.