Local emergency responders deploy to help Texas

LAS VEGAS - Local emergency workers and first responders are on their way to Texas to help the thousands of people whose homes and communities were devastated by Hurricane Harvey over the weekend.

The local chapter of the Red Cross is sending additional support to the worse hit areas, and the Nevada Task Force One is en route with less than one day’s notice.

The task force is Nevada’s only urban search and rescue team and one of 28 across the country trained to handle disasters such as Hurricane Harvey.

“The people that are down there are in just as much need as any other disaster we've ever had,” said Deputy Fire Chief John Steinbeck, Clark County Fire Department.

Steinbeck is a member of the task force which FEMA requested on Sunday. He’s one of more than 160 firefighters, physicians, and other civilians trained and ready to help.

“We started to raise our alert status as soon as we knew the hurricane was coming,” Steinbeck said.

FEMA initially requested a four person team from the task force to help, but officials decided they needed even more people.

“They raised that today to include 14 personnel for swift water rescue,” said Steinbeck.

The task force isn’t the only support heading to Texas from Nevada. The Red Cross is sending 25 volunteers from the region. They’re bringing equipment and supplies to help with the relief effort.

"You're helping total strangers, and you're just helping people. Red Cross, it's in your blood, that's why you go to all these remote places, so you can just help other people," said Shauna Ringel, Red Cross volunteer.

The Red Cross is in need of even more volunteers. The organization provides training, but it requires a commitment of at least two weeks.

For those who work in the medical or mental health field, Red Cross asks for a week commitment.

Those interested in volunteering or making a donation to the Red Cross click here to visit their website.


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