Members of Missouri Task Force 1 didn’t wait for Hurricane Dorian to hit Florida to get to work helping people -- when members encountered a car wreck Monday, they pitched in to help a critically injured person until local responders could arrive.
The crash occurred outside the hotel where task force members were housed in Jacksonville, said Gale Blomenkamp, assistant chief of the Boone County Fire Protection District, which operates the task force. The hotel staff alerted members to the need for help as they called 911 for local help.
By the time local responders arrived, the team had removed the victim from the car and started medical aid, he said.
"It was good timing that our people were there to provide some aid," Blomenkamp said. "It happened right there and we were ready to go."
The task force, an urban search and rescue team, was activated for the federal emergency effort, was first deployed Friday to Jacksonville, Florida.
The 52 members sent to help in the hurricane response were moved Tuesday to Columbia, South Carolina, to stage and wait for the hurricane to arrive, according to the district.
Now a Category 2 storm, the hurricane stalled over the Bahamas is expected to curve northward and run along the coast through the Carolinas.
It spent much of the weekend as a Category 5 and 4 storm, and stalled over the Bahamas, killing at least 5 people. The storm dumped up to 30 inches of rain over the islands, with winds up to 140 m.p.h. and storm surges up to 15 feet higher than normal tide.
Other Missouri efforts to aid in storm preparations include 85 Ameren Missouri workers sent Tuesday to North Carolina to help repair utilities.
The 85 Ameren Missouri employees, including linemen and fleet, logistics and safety crews, will help Duke Energy crews repair damage to electrical lines across the affected area once the storm passes, according to a news release from Ameren.
Ameren is a part of the Edison Electric Institute, a mutual aid network for electric providers around the country, according to a news release.