Matthew Memories – Wake County Engine Company Strike Team

On Thursday, October 13, 2016, a Wake County engine company strike team was dispatched to Bladen County, to assist with flood relief efforts and emergency responses in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

Apex, Bay Leaf, Eastern Wake, Fairview, Knightdale, Stony Hill, and Wake Forest each sent a single engine plus members. Notes this News & Observer story[*] from that date, all of the deployed firefighters had been trained to assist in flood in relief.

[*] Link now broken,

Hurricane Matthew deluged the central and eastern parts of state and produced historic flooding. Bladen County was one of thirty-one in the state that was eligible for federal assistance, in response to the storm damage.

The eighteen volunteers from Wake County had a range of responsibilities, based on the immediate needs of where they were deployed. They ranged from fire suppression to flood rescue to checking on people in flooded areas. They were deployed for four days to Elizabethtown.�

On their Facebook page, the Stony Hill Rural Fire Department posted these photos and updates. Visit their page to see more.

October 13:
Members from Stony Hill, Wake Forest, Bay Leaf, Apex, Eastern Wake, and Fairview fire departments pose for a quick photo before deploying to Bladen County to assist with hurricane Matthew relief efforts. The crews will be deployed for 96 hours and we wish them the best!

October 14:
Day one is in the books. The flooding down here is significant. Crews spent the day doing welfare checks and offering evacuation services for any residents wishing to leave. Day two looks to be more of the same as flood waters continue to rise and fall in various areas of the county.

Fuel stop before arriving in Bladen County.

Stony Hill Pumper 395 and Apex Engine 22 staging with five-ton vehicles. The fire apparatus is dedicated for structural responses only. All other activities require the five-ton trucks.

View from the rear of a five-ton truck driving through flood waters that were about four- or five-feet high.

Note the woman on the porch. She told firefighters that she was fine, and had no desire to leave.

October 17:
In addition to assisting with locating residents in need of evacuation, our other roles were to assist with receiving and distributing donated relief items & assisting with debris removal. Crews were demobilized over the weekend and everyone is home now with no injuries reported. Thanks to all members that went down to assist! Please keep our friends down east in your thoughts as they still face a long road to recovery.

Command post, dining facility, and donation center at Centerville Baptist Church in Kenly.

Stony Hill members having breakfast at the church on Day 2.

Stony Hill and Apex members assisting with removing a large tree that had fallen on a residential structure in Kenly.

Members of Stony Hill, Bay Leaf, Fairview, and Apex in Kenly, before being released by the state.

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