Fairfax firefighters deploy to North Carolina to aid in Dorian recovery efforts

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80 firefighters from Virginia's search and rescue team, called Task Force One, deployed to Florida over the weekend, and then to North Carolina as the storm moved.

CHANTILLY, Va. (WDVM) — The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is aiding recovery efforts in North Carolina while fire and rescue teams anticipate a battle with Hurricane Dorian. 80 firefighters from Virginia’s search and rescue team, called Task Force One, deployed to Florida over the weekend, and then to North Carolina as the storm moved.

“We stay in contact with the team on a regular basis and we communicate almost hourly,” said Batallion Chief Jeff Lewis, who has deployed on 11 recovery trips in his career. “Team spirits are very high, everyone is doing well, there have been no significant incidents, and everyone is ready to go to work.”

The firefighters are deployed by FEMA or USAID for national and international natural disasters or catastrophic events. Fairfax County’s last deployment was in response to Hurricane Maria.

The team brought search and rescue equipment and special technology to locate and recover victims of the storm.

Lewis says, even if recovery efforts aren’t necessary this time around, this is an opportunity for training and education. “No matter what type of exercise, deployment, or activity we are on we will learn something from it and better our ability to respond in the future,” he said.

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