BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - With the recent flooding in the Jackson area, firefighters on the Gulf Coast were on call to respond to the disaster.
A team from the Biloxi Fire Department was involved in a daring rescue this week. At Fire Station 7 in Biloxi, the fire department’s marine rescue unit is part of Task Force Three with the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security.
“We respond not only in the state but outside the state for man-made and natural disasters. Tornados, hurricanes or water rescues and search rescues. All kinds of situations involved,” said Shift Training Officer Chuck Parker.
That training means they are ready to deploy on a moment’s notice. This week the Biloxi firefighters were involved in a daring rescue in the Bovina community west of Jackson. Two stranded residents in a boat were in trouble, one was clinging to life.
“They got up in there and ended up capsizing the boat. One was able to get into shallow water and self-rescue. The other was able to get into a tree. Luckily there were branches to pull himself out of the water. The water was cold; he was already suffering from hypothermia,” Parker said.
“He needed us. If we had not showed up, there’s no way he could have survived, in my opinion,” according to Biloxi Firefighter Brian Dawkins.
Rising water and strong currents with human life in the balance creates a dangerous situation. The Biloxi firefighters and other first responders in the task force rely on training to make sure there is a positive outcome.
“We work as a team to get in there with the skill sets we’ve been given. We get the patient and get out, Everyone returns home, he’s healthy, job done,” Dawkins said.
Adrenaline, instincts and a drive to save lives make all the difference in the world. In this case, with a victim under siege and facing life-threatening conditions, the Biloxi Firefighters with Task Force 3 are able to appreciate a job well done once a victim is brought to safety.
Task Force Three uses firefighters from Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula.