NC swift water rescue teams return from Texas

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Five swift water rescue teams are back in North Carolina.

They’d been sent to Texas to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

They returned Wednesday evening.

A CBS North Carolina crew was the only one there for the homecoming.

The five teams consisted of 88 specially trained firefighters.

“It’s what we do. We’re firemen. We got into this business to help,” Cpt. Mike Davidson, a Raleigh firefighter and Technical Rescue Program Manager said.

“It meant a lot to me to go down and at least try to help,” Randall Scott, a Raleigh firefighter and swift water rescue team member said.

Schmidt found out last Wednesday night he was being sent.

He told his wife who told their Wake Forest neighbors.

Those neighbors wanted to help.

When Schmidt got home that night, he said he found donations of dog food, baby wipes and all kinds of other food in his driveway.

“It was heartwarming, it was pretty cool. I didn’t expect it. It was midnight when I got home to it was in the driveway waiting for me. It was pretty heartwarming,” Schmidt said.

That was just one example of the kindness and generosity these firefighters received over the last week.

They said people brought them home cooked meals and auto body shops dropped everything to help when they had problems with their trucks.

The teams ended up in Bryan, Texas where they played a support role.

“If a dam broke, if a levee broke we were ready the entire time we were in staging to drop at a minute’s notice to head out,” Davidson said.

With Hurricane Irma churning off the coast of the US, the teams were sent back two days early.

“It’s what we do, it’s what we’re here for. If we can help, we’re going to help,” Schmidt said.

“We did the best we could for them and we’ll do what we can for the people of North Carolina or if it hits elsewhere and we get asked to go somewhere else we’re do that as well,” Davidson said.

After that 20-hour drive back, crew members are supposed to get a few days off but that could change depending on Irma’s path.

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