Gulf Coast sends teams out to help with Hurricane Florence relief

Gulf Coast sends teams out to help with Hurricane Florence relief

GULF COAST, MS (WLOX) - The Gulf Coast has had its fair share of experiences with hurricanes and tropical storms.

It’s nothing new to the area or residents. Yet, even when the coast is not directly impacted by a storm, residents are still more than willing to help any way they can.

AMR teams are already on their way to help! Personnel left from the coast at 6 a.m. Wednesday morning. This team is part of a larger AMR response from the state locating in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Teams will be sent to North Carolina and Virginia.

“We are fortunate to be able to send some of our local assets -- including personnel and equipment -- to assist the communities in the path of Hurricane Florence,” said Ted Van Horne, CEO and President of AMR. “It is important to know that sending these resources does not affect our ability to provide timely medical response for all the communities we serve.”

The Biloxi Fire Department is ready to help. Chief Joe Boney says he’s contacted several people on the East Coast to let them know Biloxi firefighters are available.

“We will go. We just don’t know when and where,” he said.

The fire department has sent clean up teams to many disasters in the past. They focus on helping with work at the homes of other firefighters and first responders who are too busy helping their communities to do their own homes. Other Biloxi firefighters have already moved to the storm zone.

“We do have two guys part of a state task force in Virginia to assist with rescues,” he explained.

Cameron Whiteside and Chuck Parker are Biloxi firefighters and members of the Mississippi Task Force. The group left Tuesday around 11:30 a.m. to travel to Virginia.

There are 3 Mississippi Task Forces across the state, made up of 12-man teams of firefighters and support personnel. The teams emphasize on swift water rescues and brought a total of 8 water crafts with them, 4 inflatables and 4 aluminum flat-bottom rescue boats.

Task Force 3 has firefighters from Biloxi, Gulfport, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, Diamondhead, Hattiesburg and McComb.

The Gulf Coast Baptist Association is also eager to lend a helping hand to Hurricane Florence victims. Executive director Steve Mooneyham says plans are very preliminary at this point, but the association will be organizing relief teams and coordinating efforts with the state convention.

“We are in the process of working out who’s available and when they will be going,” Mooneyham said.

Operation BBG Relief is next on the list to help. Though they are not ready to announce anything yet, the organization is making efforts on potential efforts.

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