DMV task force members deploy, others on standby to assist with Irma relief

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ROCKVILLE, Md. - Local crews are gearing up for another deployment south as Hurricane Irma heads to the United States.

Virginia Task Force One deployed a team of 80 members on Wednesday, just one day after members came home from Texas to assist in Hurricane Harvey relief.

A group of Maryland Task Force One members came home from Texas on Wednesday and four others were rerouted to Georgia.

They are prepared to send an 80 member team in the coming days as well.

"We're ready to go at a moments notice," says Robert Stojinski, Program Manager and Assistant Task Force Leader.

Stokinski says the returning members from Texas are in rehab for 48 hours, but depending on when and if they get the call from FEMA, those members could deploy again.

On Thursday, other members rehabbed and reconfigured the equipment used in Texas to be ready for another deployment.

"Being on standby, you’re anxious, you want to get out the door, you want to help people," says Dan Cochran, a Montgomery County firefighter preparing for his first task force deployment. "You just want to get sent to what you signed up to do."

The American Red Cross National Capitol Region says they also plan to deploy staff and volunteers to the Carolinas in the coming days.

They already deployed 59 local volunteers and staff, as well as four Emergency Response Vehicles, to Texas and Louisiana and will continue to support relief efforts there.

"Our Regional Operations Center is active and we are reaching out to government partners and joining them in readiness efforts," said Nathan DeVault, Director of Communications to DCW50 in an e-mail. "We are also taking steps to prepare for Hurricane Irma by training our teams to be sheltering associates in the event that we do need to send them somewhere else in the Division and/or Florida. We are encouraging people throughout the region to get prepared for the potential impact of Irma or other hurricanes that may form throughout the season."

For more information on how the American Red Cross is asking families to get prepared, and how you can help hurricane relief efforts, visit their website.