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Firefighters return home after helping tornado relief effort

A group of central Kentucky firefighters has returned home after nearly a week in Joplin, Missouri, helping tornado victims.

Last Saturday, several members of the Georgetown Fire Department headed to Joplin to lend a hand in search and rescue efforts.

Firefighter Chad Smith, a member of that crew, calls the experience humbling.

"What I was expecting was obviously what I had seen in pictures and on the nightly news," Smith said. "When we arrived in town, it was mind-blowing. I think all of us were kind of silent when we got there because it was so much different than what you've seen. It was a devastation that went on for miles. It wasn't a single lens of a camera frame, it was just never-ending destruction it seemed like."

Despite the shock of seeing such a devastating scene, Smith says he and his crew stayed focused on their mission.

"I think everybody had the attitude that when they got there, they wanted to work," Smith said. "We expected long days. I was obviously hot. Everybody was on the same page. They wanted to do as much as they possibly could and do the most amount of good for the most amount of people while we were there."

Smith also says the trip to Joplin served as a wake up call.

"I really look at tornadoes differently," Smith said. "I look at tornado warnings a lot differently. It'll drastically change the way myself and my family react when the next tornado warning comes toward us."

Smith says the Georgetown Fire Department doesn't have any more plans to send people to Joplin, but he says they'll certainly be available if called upon.

Six Georgetown firefighters made the trip to Joplin in two shifts.


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