PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Two more swift water rescue teams from Allegheny County have left for the eastern part of Pennsylvania to help with evacuations because of flooding.
Three teams that left Wednesday have already helped in more than 50 rescues in the Bloomsburg area. They even had a close call.
“They are going into a dangerous situation,” said Acting-Chief Alvin Henderson of Allegheny County Emergency Services. “We had a situation where they were affecting a rescue today. They had a boat tethered. It was moving across swift water. The boat broke free of the tether line, and was washed downstream.”
Henderson says fortunately no one was hurt, but the crew will have to wait until the water recedes to get to the boat, which is lodged up against a building.
Some of the rescuers just got back from helping after flooding associated with Hurricane Irene.
“Once we came back from Irene, it took the guys three or four days to overcome the lack of sleep and so on,” said Glassport Volunteer Fire Department Chief Wayne Lewis. “But the guys are fresh. They’re ready to go. We’re going to go out and replenish our Mon Valley team that’s out there right now.”
Initially, they believed they’d be there for 48 hours, but that’s already been stretched to 72. Each team is made up of four rescue technicians.
Lt. Matthew Kauper, from the Blawnox Volunteer Fire Company, is among those headed out.
“We’re going to go and out and do our best to save as many people and animals as we can,” he said.