Local firefighters return home after rescuing Texans from devastation of Hurricane Harvey

Local firefighters return home after rescuing Texans from devastation of Hurricane Harvey

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The South Carolina Helicopter Aquatics Rescue Team (SC-HART), which included several firefighters from the Grand Strand, is back home after assisting Texans during Hurricane Harvey disaster response.

The SC-HART team deployed to Texas last Tuesday to assist with search and rescue operations after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, flying 47 missions, including four that resulted in rescues, according to a news release from Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue. The SC-HART and NC-HART teams returned early due to Hurricane Irma.

One notable mission was the rescue of a family of three, including an eight-week-old baby who was ill and required medical attention, after their home had been cut off by flooding, the release states. Before that family's rescue, SC-HART had just completed the rescue of an elderly woman who was also trapped by flooding.

Several firefighters from the Grand Strand area deployed to Texas as part of the HART team: Myrtle Beach Fire Department Captain Kenny Chapman, Lieutenant Bob Horn, Planning Division Captain Ed Begovich, and TJ Brady from North Myrtle Beach Fire Department.

Hurricane Harvey was the first time the SC-HART team deployed out of state. Before Harvey, SC-HART assisted in Columbia during the "1,000 Year Flood" in October 2015 and during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.

SC-HART was formed in 2008 as a collaboration between the South Carolina Army National Guard and the South Carolina Urban Search and rescue Team (USAR). A HART team is combined of a SC Army National Guard helicopter crewed by specially-trained pilots and aircrew, complimented by three firefighters: one team leader and two rescue/swimmer specialists.

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