Louisiana sending firefighters to Florida to help with collapsed buildings from Hurricane Michael

Louisiana State Fire Marshal Butch Browning

BATON ROUGE, LA — The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal is sending a team of firefighters to Florida to help the state with its response to Hurricane Michael.  The work could include rescuing people from collapsed buildings.

“90 personnel that will come with light urban search and rescue equipment,”  State Fire Marshal Chief Butch Browning said.  “The equipment they bring will allow them to open doors, lift walls, breach minor collapses as well as equipment to do water rescue,” Browning said.

The firefighters will leave Wednesday morning.  They will get as close to the storm’s impact area as possible and will respond to requests for help from Florida officials as soon as the storm has passed.

“Once the hurricane has passed, they’ll immediately work under the command and control of the Florida officials and do this primary search which is basically going into a ravaged area and look for injured people, look for trapped people.  Then they’ll follow that up with a secondary search which would actually be a door to door, house to house, building to building search,” Browning said.

It’s a seven-day deployment but Browning thinks the most active work will last for no more than three days.

“We’ve got some great assets, and we’ve got some great responders,” Browning said.  “We’re pulling the best of the best from the New Orleans area, the Baton Rouge area, the Monroe area, the Lafayette area.”

“In the end, we bring about humanity,” Browning said.