Wilmington firefighters help relieve Hurricane Ian in Florida

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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – As the death toll continues to rise after Hurricane Ian, it’s clear the road to recovery in Florida will be long. Several firefighters from the Wilmington Fire Department took the initiative to facilitate this relief effort a little.

While first responders in Wilmington were largely spared any serious emergencies during Hurricane Ian, the same cannot be said for their counterparts in Florida. That’s why five Wilmington firefighters headed to Florida to lend a hand.

“If ever we are in need or someone is in need, we hope they can step in and do the same for others,” said Lt. Alex Fantuzzi of WFD.

Heart 9-11, a national organization that helped WFD and first responders in 2018 in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, did not hesitate to get back into action when the call for volunteers went out four years ago. late.

“Helping others helps us. Helps us relieve the stress that we tend to experience on a daily basis. So to be able to offer that help to others who are in a similar situation because that also helps us heal,” said Captain Rodney Lester of WFD.

While on the ground, they saw everything from boats thrown into houses to swimming pools sitting in the streets. A disaster like this only adds to a tough job mentally and physically, and they said it was just as powerful for them to lighten that burden for others.

“Helping others helps us. Helps us relieve the stress that we tend to experience on a daily basis. So to be able to offer that help to others who are in a similar situation to us, that helps us heal as well,” Lester said.

Lester says when Heart 9/11 arrived in 2018, they left a spare trailer for future use equipped with tarps, chainsaws, PPE items, fuel, and more. WFD was able to use this trailer and its supplies while helping out in Florida.

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