Two Park City Firefighters Sent To East Coast To Help Hurricane Dorian Victims

Sep 4, 2019

Hurricane Dorian from the International Space Station
Credit NASA

Two members of the Park City Fired Department are part of a Utah task force that has been deployed to the East Coast to help victims of Hurricane Dorian.

Captain McKay Wadley and Engineer Chad Kramer were deployed Tuesday night by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to Charlotte, North Carolina. Park City Fire District spokesperson Tricia Hurd Hazelrigg says they’re in a hotel waiting for the storm to impact the area.

“They’re in staging at the moment,” Hurd Hazelrigg explained. “Really, they’re just being briefed, going through training exercises, etc. For the most part they’re staging there and waiting, depending on what the storm does. They’re waiting to see what the storm does and when it moves in closer to that area. If/when the storm does hit, then they will be moved closer to the areas that are affected by the storm.”

Hurd Hazelrigg says that their work will depend on what is needed although their main focus is water rescue.

“So, they will go in and they do wide area searches,” Hurd Hazelrigg said. “Essentially to make sure that all the people are rescued. That everybody gets out of the area that needs to. They will also follow up on emergency calls like they’ll support the local emergency services and follow up on calls that they can't get to. Just ultimately making sure that all of the people are being taken care of in the area.”

They anticipate that Hurricane Dorian will hit the Charlotte area Thursday evening, and the crew will be there five to seven days, with the timing depending greatly on the impact of the storm.

This is Captain Wadley’s fourth deployment as part of a FEMA task force and Engineer Kramer’s second.

“We have about 10 of our own members with Park City Fire District that are on the local FEMA task force,” Hurd Hazelrigg continued. “It does require special training so they need to be a part of our special OPS team. There's a lot of rescue operations, structural collapse training, rope rescue training, confined space, etc, and that's just with Park City Fire. In addition, they do a lot of outside FEMA training and they have to obtain certifications outside of what Park City Fire District require. So, once they get all those then they can be a part of that team and utilized in the areas of their specialized training.”

Hurd Hazelrigg says that FEMA pays the men for their time worked. Additionally, FEMA reimburses the fire district to backfill the workers shift while they are deployed.

“What’s really awesome for Park City Fire is that when they get deployed, they're getting a lot of specialized experience,” Hurd Hazelrigg explained. “In addition to the skill sets are getting with the training, etc. that they can bring back to the community. So, in the event that we ever have something we are fortunate to have these individuals gaining these kinds of experiences to bring back.”

That’s Park City Fire District spokesperson Tricia Hurd Hazelrigg.