BCFR rescue team to work near Houston

By ALLEN MINCEY Staff Writer
Posted 9/1/17

The two firemen from the Bradley County Fire Rescue service who traveled to Texas to help flooding victims received their deployment orders Thursday.

Commander Ronnie Goss and Lt. Donovan …

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BCFR rescue team to work near Houston

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The two firemen from the Bradley County Fire Rescue service who traveled to Texas to help flooding victims received their deployment orders Thursday.

Commander Ronnie Goss and Lt. Donovan Dicola will be spending around eight days in Texas helping victims of Hurricane Harvey and subsequent flooding recover. Though the hurricane has been downgraded to a tropical depression and moved northeasterly, there are still areas of the state dealing with record floodwaters left behind by the storm system in streets and roads, building and homes, and other areas, much of it in the Houston area.

“It appears that the Bradley County ‘strike team’ is going to be assigned to water rescue operations for Wharton County (Texas), two hours south of our current location (College Station),” said BCFR Chief Shawn Fairbanks Thursday afternoon. “It’s an area that has the Colorado River running through it, and the water level is rising.”

Goss and Dicola left Cleveland on Wednesday with two BCFR boats, traveling first to Nashville to be given their assignments, and then going to Texas. Fairbanks selected the two fireman to make the trip as they have many years of swiftwater rescue training and actual saves for people affected by rising waters. Dicola was among several from the department who helped in South Carolina a few years ago, while Goss was involved in water rescues in Nashville.

The two men help train other emergency personnel on swiftwater rescue throughout the state.

Goss and Dicola were two of the six firemen who traveled to Texas from this area. Two from the East Ridge Fire Department and two from the Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department also were deployed to the Lone Star State.

In total, Gov. Bill Haslam announced on Wednesday that around 91 fire and rescue personnel would be helping individuals and families in the region.

Fairbanks said that Goss and Dicola are on an 8-day deployment to Texas, and when they return to Bradley County, if more are needed, he will select two more to travel down to provide assistance.

The City of Wharton and Wharton County are located along the Interstate 69 corridor, just 50 miles south of Houston. The Wharton County Emergency Management Agency said that rivers in that area overflowed, causing the flooding to remain active, and expects the water will not recede for days.

allen.mincey@clevelandbanner.com

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