ORLANDO – Anna Maria Island didn’t feel the effects of Hurricane Dorian, but Manatee County’s first responders didn’t take it easy as the storm swept by Florida’s east coast. First responders from around the state gathered supplies and equipment and journeyed to Orlando to gather at a staging area and await deployment to any areas hit hard by the storm.
Manatee County sent 28 first responder volunteers along with fire engines and other equipment to Orlando to await deployment. Participating departments include East Manatee Fire Rescue, North River Fire Rescue, Southern Manatee Fire Rescue, Bradenton Fire Rescue, Longboat Key Fire Rescue, Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue and West Manatee Fire Rescue which sent fire engine 131 along with firefighters Clayton Lease and Paul Hopkins.
Strike teams gathered for staging Sept. 3. With Florida being spared the hurricane’s wrath, the strike teams were not needed for hurricane relief efforts in Florida, and Manatee County’s team returned to the west coast Sept. 5.
In the event of a natural disaster, strike teams are formed with first responder volunteers to go into badly affected areas of the state and provide relief by helping in recovery efforts, assisting local first responders with rescue and fire response efforts and distributing supplies to local residents, among other assistance efforts.