Volunteers head east to help hardest hit areas

Volunteers head east to help hardest hit areas

(WMC-TV) - Folks from the Mid-South are on their way to the hard hit areas on the east coast to do their part to help.

One of the first groups called on to help was the Tennessee Task Force One.

Action News 5 was there late Monday night when the team left for the coast.

They are just one of dozens of groups around the nation answering the call for help.

Tennessee Task Force One is an 80 member team. They are headed to Virginia with a tractor-trailer loaded full of equipment.

The team is expected to be gone for at least seven to 10 days.

Tennessee Task Force One is one of 28 search and rescue teams across the nation funded by the department of Homeland Security. They were put on alert Monday afternoon. The official call to duty came later.

Made up primarily of firefighters and other emergency personnel, the team will first rally with others in Fairfax, Virginia before possibly being dispatched to other storm-ravaged areas.

"We train for this, we train for this. All of our members are well trained. We train throughout the year to be prepared for situations like this," said Battalion Chief Keith Staples, TN Task Force One.

Tennessee Task Force One was last deployed in the wake of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike that struck along the Gulf Coast.

While Virginia is their initial destination point on this deployment, that could change while they are en route depending on damage reports.

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