OCALA, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Now that Hurricane Michael has landed, the cleanup begins. Crews across Florida are making their way to the Panhandle to help.
Crews spent Wednesday night loading up, getting in position and praying all before heading out to the Panhandle on a massive midnight mission against Hurricane Michael.
“One of the most imp things is pretty much self-preservation in the sense of this is for the long haul. We really have to be smart about conserving our energy,” said Yamilee Diaz with the City of Miami Fire Rescue team.
It’s hard to do that when there’s so much to do. But for the more than 200 first responders stationed at both the Florida State Fire College in Ocala and Marion County Fire Rescue, this is what it’s all about.
“This is what we train for all year. you know so everybody wants to go out the door,” said Marion Rescue Fire Captain Daniel Jodoian.
Every kind of team is ready to go, including urban search and rescue teams, swiftwater rescue teams, collapse, confined space and road rescue teams. The goal is to leave at midnight and arrive at sunlight, ready to help whoever needs it.
“Making sure that we’re going door to door at least finding if somebody stayed, didn’t stay.”
“There are citizens out there that need us to be at our best.”
First responders expect to stay in the Panhandle for two to three weeks.