Local firefighters and volunteers head to Texas

Local firefighters and volunteers head to Texas

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Local firefighters and volunteers are offering a helping hand to those in Houston who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Seventeen local American Red Cross volunteers are currently in the city, along with three Myrtle Beach fire officials. Those firefighters are in the heart of Harvey, working to rescue people from the flood waters.

"We sent three people from the SC HART team that are from our department," said Myrtle Beach Fire Lt. Jonathan Evans.

Lt. Bob Horn, Capt. Kenneth Chapman, and Capt. Ed Begovich are part of the South Carolina Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team. SC HART is a collaboration between the State Urban Search and Rescue Task Force.

"They will be deploying out of the helicopters to try to pick people out. They're the ones dangling trying to pick people up, or they're in the water to get them if they're stuck," Evans said.

Horn and Chapman flew to Dallas, while Begovich drove down with the equipment.

"We wish those guys the best down there. We know they're going to do a good job and we just hope they stay safe," said Evans.

Teams from all over the country have been heading down to Houston, including volunteers from the American Red Cross. So far, 17 people from the Red Cross Eastern South Carolina chapter have deployed to Texas, along with 60 from across the state.

"We've been doing this 24 hours a day since last Wednesday," said Debbie Kostic, chapters coordinator for the American Red Cross. "It's very, very emotional. When they leave, we tell them to expect 10-hour days. Fourteen days is their assignment. We're just telling them to be prepared, and take their patience and their flexibility with them."

Kostic said the 14-hour days not only help those affected, but are also rewarding for the volunteers.

"The other day someone said, 'I'm just one person,' but I said one person can make a big difference. So don't make light of just being that one person," Kostic said.

Anyone who would like to help those affected by Harvey and volunteer with the American Red Cross should call their local chapter.

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