Over 30 Charlotte firefighters deploy to western NC to offer storm assistance

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - As rain continues to pose a threat for areas across western North Carolina, crews from Charlotte packed their bags and headed there to help.

A group of 16 firefighters from the Charlotte Fire Department deployed to Hickory Wednesday morning and another group of 16 joined them later in the afternoon. From there, the firefighters will be sent to the areas that need their help the most.

Captain Joshua Case says it takes a team. "That's why I work at the fire department, I'm about service," Case says.

He along with his coworkers have training in swift water and helicopter rescue, both of which they may put into use in the coming days.

The Charlotte Fire Department is seen as a regional asset and the state requested their assistance. They are sending both swift water rescue and communications leaders from their department.

"The local resources have their hands full with normal calls and all the flooding that's going on, so it's great that we can step in and help," Batallion Chief Rob Cannon says.

Armed with wet suits, helmets, ropes and rubber boats,they d ropped everything to deploy Wednesday.

"They're coming off their off days we don't know who had vacations planned but they're here," Cannon said. They were told their deployment could last 72 hours but that could change depending on the severity of the storm.

Chief Cannon said the department is fully staffed and that means they will still be equipped to handle any emergency situations in Charlotte while 32 men and women are deployed.

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