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Louisiana first responders headed to east coast ahead of Florence

Posted at 7:45 AM, Sep 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-11 11:59:53-04

Nearly one hundred Louisiana first responders are deploying to the Carolinas ahead of Hurricane Florence’s arrival.

Four teams of firefighters and medics from Louisiana will supply aid and support to emergency responders in the Carolinas as the areas brace for the impact of Hurricane Florence.  The storm is expected to be a Category 4 when it makes landfall somewhere along the Carolina coast on Friday.

The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) says they are coordinating assistance through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) system which offers personnel, equipment, and commodities to states under a governor-declared state of emergency

The State Fire Marshal’s Office says they are sending over rescue equipment along with personnel who are specialized in Swift Water Rescue and Suburban Search and Rescue, along with an 18-person disaster response management team.  The New Orleans Fire Department will also send a four-person emergency operations center support team to assist in North Carolina.  Teams from Baton Rouge and Shreveport will also make the trip. Each team is comprised of 36 personnel.

Those teams left for the east coast on Tuesday and are expected to arrive within the day.

“In addition to the teams currently being deployed, other state agencies are also working to fill additional requests from states in Florence’s path,” according to GOSHEP.

Officials say that Louisiana is often called upon to help other states during weather emergencies because of the state’s experience in dealing with disasters and the ability to efficiently manage EMAC requests.

“Louisiana has received an outpouring of assistance for our emergencies in the past,” says Louisiana State Fire Marshal Butch Browning.  “the call to return the favor to South Carolina now is a very important one for us to answer.”

The State Fire Marshal’s Office shared photos of their teams preparing to leave earlier this morning to their Facebook page.

“Our teams, and everyone in the path of this storm, are in our thoughts and hearts,” the post reads.