Local fire crews headed to East Coast to help with Hurricane Florence

Posted at 10:53 PM, Sep 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-13 01:53:35-04

Sixteen of Central Coast’s bravest are stepping up and headed to Virginia to provide aid to those who may soon be in need.

A Santa Barbara County Incident Management Type-3 Team left for deployment on Wednesday and will be assisting for the next two to four weeks.

"Everybody here, all 16 of us are ready to go and help," said Woody Enos, Operations Division Chief for the Santa Barbara County Fire Dept.

This is a battle-ready team that regularly trains together and dealt with Mother Nature’s fury in the past year with the Montecito mud slides and devastating Thomas Fire.

Santa Maria Fire Battalion Chief Thomas Crakes worked both Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. He had some tips for the other 15.

"It’s all about the gear you take," said Crakes. "Here in sunny California, we’re going to wind, rain, humidity, and big mosquitoes."

While they will be assigned their duties once they arrive on Thursday afternoon, Crakes says he is excited to do what he was born to do — help someone in need.

"I’m honored," he said. "I’m honored and i’m proud to be part of the helping hand that’s going out to help. That’s why we’re firemen, we’re here to help. It’s in my blood. My hand is always going out to help, this is just a longer reach."