TOLEDO, Ohio — As safety officials continue to track the latest developments of Hurricane Ian, local first responders are helping people to stay safe.
Toledo Assistant Fire Chief John Kaminski is one of many crews from around the country currently assisting with relief efforts. Kaminski went down this past weekend to help with response operations and will help local first responders with whatever they need.
"It's a good feeling to know that you're here to offer some type of comfort, that we're here to hopefully put people in a better position to recover from the storm and make rescues if needed," said Assistant Chief Kaminski.
Kaminski is not the first Toledo firefighter to help with natural disaster relief efforts. There are a number of Toledo firefighters who are a part of Ohio Task Force One, which helps when disaster strikes.
"When you go, nobody goes to these things because they want to be there but they have a desire to help," said Lt. Jamie Morelock with Toledo Fire & Rescue.
Morelock has helped with past hurricane relief efforts during Hurricane Harvey, Floyd and Delta.
Much of the work they do is assisting local first responders with whatever is needed.
"If they need us to do walk and knocks, which is basically structural damage assessments and making contact with homeowners in neighborhoods, we will do that. And some days you walk 12 miles doing that," said Jake Hoffman, a Toledo firefighter and member of Ohio Task Force One.
"Initial missions may be in a hurricane, water rescues during flooding areas with boats and stuff like that, or vehicles capable of driving through high water," said Lt. Morelock.
Right now, only one Toledo firefighter is deployed in Alabama waiting for hurricane Ian to make landfall.
"Right now they're just waiting for assignment, basically, and waiting to narrow down the path of the storm. It's kind of like working at the firehouse, where you're just sitting around waiting for a call to come in. You do some training and stay up on what's going on!" said Hoffman.
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