Fire crews on standby to help in Haiti

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Nine Lexington firefighters are currently on standby with the possibility they may be used in some way with the rescue mission to Haiti.

This morning Lexington Fire Chief Robert Hendricks got the call from Ohio Task Force One,which is under FEMA and is one of the search and rescue teams that has been activated to help with the mission in Haiti.

"The situation is ever-changing. It could be additional resources needed in Haiti or perhaps relieving of other personnel who might be in Haiti. It could also be for U.S. deployment for some other type of catastrophe", says Chief Robert Hendricks.

The fire chief says he got the official call a little before 6:00 a.m. Thursday to send two people to help. Before they could get that approved, he got a call back saying the two spots were filled. Since that time he says he was once again contacted about the availability of the team members here to potentially be deployed. The Mayor approved those nine firefighters so now they are on standby waiting to help if needed.

"Almost all of our personnel would love to be there and help. It's just the kind of thing that we do and the kind of thing our people really thrive on is helping people and this is obviously a whole nation that's in need", says Chief Robert Hendricks.

Should those nine firefighters be deployed to help, the chief says 24 recruits graduate Friday and will officially be with the Lexington Fire Department next week and able to fill those positions to help the community while other firefighters are helping with the mission.

Chief Hendricks says the firefighters are prepared and ready, just in case the National Disaster Medical System is activated, like it was with Hurricane Katrina.

"The Veterans Administrations coordinates with the Air Force evaluation of injured personnel to take them elsewhere in the country where they may be better cared for and there is a potential that the system could be activated, and if it were there is a possibility we could receive patients perhaps from Haiti here in Lexington to be cared for", says Chief Hendricks.

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