When Bradley County Fire-Rescue chief Troy Maney got the call to send another crew to South Carolina, he didn't hesitate to help. His first crew, which deployed October 3, has been doing what first responders do best. But despite their training, experience, and drive, exhaustion is setting in.
"As long as they've had a call going, they were working. They were getting a minimal amount of sleep," says Maney.
Although the heavy rains left days ago, rivers are still spilling over their banks and are now flowing toward coastal communities. More flooding is expected, so more help is needed. The original crew needs a break.
"I've talked to them every day they've been there and as the week has gone longer and longer, they're more and more ready to go home," adds Maney.
Among the new team which left Friday morning, October 9, is Lieutenant Donovan DiCola. He understands what they face.
"More dams are susceptible to breaks and breach. So, we're just waiting for that," says DiCola.
The other Bradley County crew member with DiCola has done swift water rescues. They're joined by two first responders from the Cleveland Fire Department. They're ready to get to work as soon as they reach their assigned destination, which they'll know upon arriving in Columbia.
"We'll go out and do some water rescues for people unable to get out of their homes," adds DiCola.
While Chief Maney is always willing to lend a helping hand, doing so far from home has its challenges.
"I think anytime you go out of town, you're not sure what some other counties' limitations are," says Maney.
He says the first crew likely arrives in Knoxville Saturday, October 10 for a debriefing, then back to Bradley County. The relief crew could be in South Carolina for up to a week.