Four members of the Tukwila Fire Department were deployed to Texas to help with rescue and recovery efforts in response to Hurricane Harvey. Captains Pat McCoy, Mark Morales and Andy Nevens, and Firefighter Pat O'Brien went on the initial deployment. All four of these men have served in other disasters around the country including Katrina, the Oso Mud Slide, and other hurricanes.
Captain Morales, Firefighter O'Brien and Captain Nevens (pictured) were all assigned to a "Swift Water Team" that is assigned to be in the water, moving equipment, rescuing stranded residents and searching buildings that are dangerously flooded. All three have specialized training for working in dangerous water conditions like this.
Captain Pat McCoy was deployed on a different mission in Texas as part of a Disaster Medical Assistance Team. This specialized medical team is commonly assigned to the larger shelters, setting up a medical clinic to support medical needs of the victims there.
On the way back to Tukwila from Texas, the team was called again and turned around in Richland, WA to head to Robins Air Force Base in Georgia for staging to assist with rescue and recovery efforts in response to Hurricane Irma. In addition, Firefighters Merle Brooks and Aaron Johnson were also deployed to assist with swift water rescue in association with the Irma response.
The City Administration, Fire Department and the families of our responders have shown their support for our members who are willing to go into dangerous conditions and serve others in need. Tukwila's costs are reimbursed by the federal government through FEMA.