Divers with Nashville Fire, OEM on standby for Harvey aid

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Several teams including the Tennessee Task Force-1 in Memphis are already on the ground in Texas helping those stuck in the floodwaters.

Now, as the flooding continues to get worse, a team of 14 from the Nashville Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is preparing to get the call.

With rains falling outside of their shop in southeast Nashville, divers from the fire department and OEM are waiting for their assignments.

“We have dive teams and equipment, swift water teams, swift water boats,” said NFD District Chief Larry Clymer.

PHOTOS: Hurricane Harvey

TEMA put the team on standby Monday to prepare for a possible two week deployment.

“They are asking for a type one deployment, type one team and that consists of 14 people,” explained Clymer.

He told News 2 he will lead the crew with several rafts and a trailer full of diving equipment.

“We can provide just about any resources they ask for,” Clymer said.

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It is not the first time these divers have been asked to help during a natural disaster. Captain David Crane worked the Nashville 2010 flood and conducted rescue missions during the flash floods in South Carolina in 2015.

“It was a lot of long days. It was sun up to sun down and then some,” said Crane.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said in a statement that Nashville was very fortunate to have help from other agencies in 2010 and encouraged Nashvillians to donate to a relief fund set up in Houston.

“It is hard to understand even when you are right in the middle of it. You’ve got homes that are lost, people who are really at their worst unfortunately,” said Crane.

Crane said he knows what the first responders are going through in Houston.

“By the time you clear one call, there’s ten more stacked up that you have to jump into the best you can,” Crane told News 2.

It is hard to prepare mentally for what they will see and they will rely on their training to come home safely.

“With good equipment and good training, you can take care of the majority of what comes down or what is thrown at you,” said Crane.

Clymer said when they get the call, he and his team will deploy and will not know exactly what they will be doing until they get to Texas.

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