COLCHESTER, Vt. — A Vermont swift water rescue team was headed to Texas on Thursday to help in the response to Hurricane Harvey.
Fifteen people were deployed from fire departments and rescue crews around the state after the request came in from Texas emergency management Thursday morning. Republican Gov. Phil Scott’s office said they will be performing evacuations and rescues in flooded areas.
Scott said Vermont knows what it’s like to need help after a crisis.
“In the days and months after Tropical Storm Irene, our friends from around the country eagerly came to our aid,” Scott said of the 2011 storm. “In times of need, there are no borders. We’re all united as Americans to help those in danger.”
As part of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a national mutual aid agreement, the state had five hours to respond to the request from Texas, Scott said.
“I got off shift this morning at eight, and about 10 minutes later we got the request to be deployed,” Nate Elwert of the Rutland Fire Department told WCAX-TV.
The mission will last 12 days, including the drive to and from Texas. They are bringing their gear with them, Scott said.
The team includes members of Colchester Technical Rescue, the state fire marshal’s office, and members of the Burlington, Charlotte, Lyndonville and Williston fire departments.
“Finally, all the hard work that we’ve put into the team over the last two years is finally coming together and we get to go help somebody else,” Elwert said.