Cary swift water rescue team deploys near NC coast to help with Isaias

Wake County News

CARY, N.C. (WNCN) — A dozen members of the Cary Fire Department’s Swift Water Rescue Team are heading toward the coast to assist with the state’s response to Tropical Storm Isaias.

“Anytime there is a hurricane in the ocean, we always begin to prepare,” said Capt. Chad Thomason, the team’s leader.

The North Carolina Emergency Management Agency gave the orders to deploy on Saturday.

By Sunday afternoon, the team was ready to go. They packed rafts, inflatable boats, and a trailer full of enough supplies to be self-sufficient for up to 10 days.

Cary Deputy Fire Chief Michael Martin tells CBS 17 the team was tested for COVID-19 before deploying. He said they all tested negative.

They will be at the National Guard Armory in Williamston, watching and waiting to see what kind of flooding or damage Tropical Storm Isaias may cause.

“The best case scenario, we’ll take all of our stuff to Williamston, we’ll be prepared for anything, but do nothing,” said Thomoson. “That’s the beat case scenario for everyone.”

Daniel Havens has been a firefighter for the past five years, but is a rookie on the Swift Water Rescue Team. This will be his first time deploying for a tropical storm.

“It’s very fulfilling,” he said. “It’s something you dedicate a lot of time to, so to finally be able to put those hours to work and hopefully toward something good is exciting.”

Thomason said one of the most difficult parts about deploying is leaving family. The team could be gone for up to 10 days. 

“That’s probably the hardest thing about a deployment like this, because with an unknown track, and the track moving as it does, we don’t know what the impacts at home will be,” said Thomason. 

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