(WCMH) – Ohio Task Force One has two rescue teams for 16-member water, each now stationed in North Carolina. The Task Force, consisting mainly of firefighters and paramedics, was deployed at the request of the North Carolina Emergency Management Agency.
One of the teams has settled at the Kinston, N.C. Fire Department. Cincinnati firefighter Mike Lotz says the team's expertise is fast water rescue.
"Water moves really, very quickly – dangerous things and many places do not get much experience with it so they ask us to do the things that might be more difficult than what they're used to," said Lotz.
The members of the task force met their new colleagues on Wednesday and Thursday and familiarized themselves with the terrain and the areas that are most likely to flood.
The members of the task force are highly trained in search and rescue and come from departments in Ohio.
Team leader Jeffrey Newman says that the hurricane response is only an extension of what task group members do every day.
"I know that it makes the people we do at home proud of what we do," said Newman. "We simply take our expertise from our regular departments and bring them to a location to provide these people in times of need."
This is nothing new for members of the task force. They were called last year for numerous hurricanes, including Harvey in Houston – where they helped evacuate the residents of a nursing home.
Firefighter Adam Landis from Dayton says this is what they train for. "Last year there were a lot of water-intensive implementations for us and we did a lot of water work with the boats and rescues and that's about what it looks like, this will be very similar in that respect," Landis said.