Team made up of local emergency responders heads to Houston

Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 2/4/16. Tim Nelson pulled from the water by East Ridge Fire Marshall Kenny Custer and East Ridge Fire Engineer Thomas Finch after he became stranded in the rising waters of West Chickamauga Creek near Camp Jordan on Thursday, February 4, 2016. Nelson is homeless and was swept 300-yards from the bridge he was living under suffering a minor case of Hypothermia.

Local emergency responders are heading to Houston to assist with ongoing rescue missions in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

A swift water team comprised of personnel from Bradley County Fire Rescue, East Ridge Fire Rescue and Dallas Bay Fire Rescue deployed to Texas on Wednesday, according to Hamilton County Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

The Disaster Medical Assistance Team based in Chattanooga has also has deployed to the area, said Bruce Garner, public information director for the Chattanooga Fire Department.

The swift water team is part of a Tennessee Fire Chiefs Statewide Mutual Aid System and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency deployment to Texas. Trained personnel and equipment from more than 20 agencies, including the ones from this area, have been combined to create seven swift water rescue teams. The teams have formed two swift water task forces that have deployed to College Station, Texas, to a staging area.

Hurricane Harvey

The teams are on an eight-day deployment and have to be self-sufficient for the first three days by taking food, water and extra supplies, according to the news release.

"The team members are highly trained to perform both swift water and still flood water rescues of humans and animals and to provide basic life support medical care to victims," the release states.

All team members reported to TEMA headquarters in Nashville on Wednesday, where they were briefed and given immunizations because of the extremely hazardous water and conditions in which they are going to be operating. They then departed for Texas.

photo Bradley County Fire & Rescue workers Matt Ballard, left, and Mike Tyndall use their kayaks to help search for the bodies of an adult and two young children who went missing after a boat they were in overturned. Teams found the body of 6-year-old Lazarus Alley on Thursday.
photo Another rescue incident is in full operation currently. A 9-1-1 call was made reporting a female injured about a 1/2 mile up the trail at the Pocket Wilderness. Mowbray Volunteer Fire Department responded and requested a Mutual Aid response for additional units. Walden's Ridge Emergency Services, Sale Creek VFD, Dallas Bay VFD, Hamilton County Emergency Services, Soddy Daisy Fire Department, Sequoyah VFD and Chattanooga Hamilton County Rescue responded to the scene to assist Mowbray VFD. Lewis Chapel VFD is stationed at Mowbray VFD for any additional emergency calls. Currently, 27 rescue personnel are in the woods to carry the female patient out to Hamilton County EMS personnel. Fire officials reported a female rolled her ATV on top of her and sustained a knee injury. The patient is being secured to the scoops stretcher and will be carried out. Rescue efforts should take about two hours.