Charlotte firefighters still waiting to assist Hurricane Harvey - | WBTV Charlotte

Charlotte firefighters still waiting to assist Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas

Steve Crump | WBTV Steve Crump | WBTV
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The Brazo’s County Expo Center in College Station, Texas serves as the firehouse away from home for those who answer 911 calls.

For Kevin Lambeth, who is with Charlotte Fire Department's Station 3 unit, coming to the Lone Star state was a new experience.

“I’ve been in three states that I haven’t been to before. Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas," Lambeth said. 

Lambeth is not alone.

The distance of driving more than 11 hundred miles from the Queen City provides its own telling narrative.

E.J. McCormick, of Station 10, held on to the steering wheel along every inch of the paved highway.

 “So I’ve had a lot of new experiences,” McCormick said. "So, we were playing follow the leader and there were a lot of experiences behind the wheel.”

Though, one experience connected to Hurricane Harvey hasn’t happened just yet. Dozens of firefighters from North Carolina and beyond are still waiting for the call to assist those who were impacted by winds, rain, and massive flooding.

Battalion Chief Pete Skeris is overseeing the Charlotte operation on the ground in Texas.

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 “The big thing for us is keep the guys engaged,” Skeris said. “It’s going back through equipment. Do a little bit of continuing education with the equipment we carry. Invite other teams in like Vermont.”

“Any time you go out of town on a deployment like this, you always bring something back home,” McCormick said.

Home is on the minds of many of those who are finding the balance between service and the sacrifice of family.

“My wife’s at home with my daughter. She’s doing all the daily duties I normally do with my daughter,” Lambeth said. "Taking care of things at home. It’s harder on her than it is on me.”

Dealing with Hurricane Harvey is a new learning experience for many first responders from Charlotte who will bring a widened perspective of on-the job training combined with taking care of home from a far away place.

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