By Matt de Simone
Botetourt County Fire & EMS reported on its Facebook page last Tuesday that the county’s rescue services deployed resources from their fleet to Buchanan County, Va., to aid with rescue operations due to flooding in the area.
Team members remained safe and worked alongside the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and other regional departments as operations continued last week.
The call was in response to a nasty cell of bad weather that arrived in Buchanan County, causing flooding and mudslides before the remains of Hurricane Ida made their way across the northeastern part of the country.
Botetourt County Fire & EMS Emergency Manager Daniel Murray recently reported on the rescue efforts in the Grundy area. Murray’s job includes planning for “the big stuff”—incidents that involve multiple days and resources; Murray works with outside agencies to ensure the county receives those resources. He also acts as a coordinator in the middle of emergencies.
“(The rescue efforts) went very well,” Murray explained. “When we first arrived on the scene, we had a problem figuring out how big and how bad (the storm) was.”
Murray and his team had to evaluate the overall damage through the first 48 hours of their rescue. He and his team went for mission support for the swift water and the search and rescue teams.
The team comprises members of an “infinite management team”—a crew specially trained to go into disaster areas and manage the resources that come in. The team keeps accountability of the groups in the field, resource ordering for needed supplies, and helps set up shelters.
Botetourt sent two team members from the area but worked with other members of the infinite management teams in the region including, Roanoke, Bristol, Bedford, Lynchburg, and different volunteer search and rescue resources located in Southwest Virginia.