TN Task Force 1 members reflect on experiences helping Harvey, Irma victims

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis-based Tennessee Task Force 1 was dispatched to not one, but two major hurricane recoveries in one month.

Family members were looking forward to hugs as the 80 members of Tennessee's Task Force 1 made their triumphant return to Memphis late Friday night.

"Super excited, just thrilled, just heart beating so fast," said Pamela Devore, wife of task force member Lieutenant Calvin Devore.

The Task Force, made up of firefighters, doctors, engineers, dog teams and more, spent the last week in the Southeast, mobilized for humanitarian missions, helping those devastated by Hurricane Irma.

"They were gracious and they were grateful for our presence there," said Memphis Fire Department Battalion Chief Colin Burress. "It was overwhelming support."

The team also spent some time down in the hardest hit area, the Florida Keys.

"From what we did see, you could tell it was quite a bit of destruction, wind damage, things of that nature and people who were in need of the basic necessities," Chief Burress said.

Task Force 1 is especially tired, resting less than two days after they spent almost two weeks in Texas after Hurricane Harvey before being called for help with Hurricane Irma.

In Texas, the task force rescued more than 1,000 people from flood waters.

"We were out for 12 days, home for 36 hours, and back out for another eight days," said Lt. Calvin Devore.

"The two storms were totally different, the things we done were totally different," said MFD Chief Dale Lock. "It was amazing that 36 hours can make that big of a difference."

"We're ready to be home for a little while," Chief Burress said.

After weeks of hard work, the team finally gets to enjoy some hard-earned rest.

We asked Lt. Devore what he planned to do first after their return.

"Just sleep," Lt. Devore said.

"The first thing I will probably do is probably give the kids a hug and tell them I love them," Chief Burress said. "Just find out everything I missed out on, try to catch up."

These heroes have sure earned it.

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