Knoxville rescue team helps with rescue efforts in Houston

KNOXVILLE (WATE)- Crews from all over the country are in Houston to help local law enforcement with rescue efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Those crews include teams from Knoxville. One from the Knoxville Fire Department now helping the Houston Fire Department on all calls.

“Some of us are on the land doing logistics and support. Others are doing a command staff role. You will take their turn and go out in a rescue operation. I spent the vast majority of my day, yesterday, in a boat doing evacuations.” said Captain Matt Beavers.

Beavers said the KFD team started by working with Texas Task Force 1, now recently, helping HFD in South Houston.

“I expected it to be windy and rainy. It’s not at all. It’s extremely sunny and very very hot. The waters in a lot of places have receded. However, when you get within a mile of a river on either side. We’re still dealing with 8-10 foot waters in some places.” said Beavers.

The operations usually run 12-14 hours at a time. Every day, tasks are different. Beavers said the work is always changing based on the need of the area.

“You’ll go out and no one wants to go out, or needs to go out. But 30 minutes later you’ll be right back in that same neighborhood where some of those folks have changed their mind.” said Beavers.

There is no timeline as to when KFD will return back to Knoxville, Beavers says. He says every day it depends on how the area is changing. But what has surprised him the most: Houston’s kindness.

He said, “The citizens in Houston have been absolutely incredible, when we setup our command post and go to work. You have people who have flooded homes bringing us sandwiches and drinks which is really ironic because we’re here to help them.”

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