LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – A team of 10 firefighters left Lexington to head west after deadly tornadoes tore apart towns overnight.
Eight members are in Mayfield, while the other two are in Frankfort coordinating the logistics for emergency response.
First responders reported hearing people stuck under the rubble and debris calling out for help Saturday morning.
“Time is of the essence for those folks because obviously, we can’t survive very long without water and food,” said Batallion Chief Jordan Saas, with the Lexington Fire Department.
The group is made up of firefighters who are specifically trained for situations like this.
“Buildings have gas, utilities, electric, so we have concerns of downed power lines….gas and anything that might be seeping into void spaces,” Saas said. “If there’s a spark, it could cause an explosion.”
This is not the first time the department has helped with a mission like this one. Lexington firefighters traveled to West Liberty after an EF-3 tornado hit the area, and New York following 9/11.
“That’s the nature of emergency response, we all typically come together to help each other make it through hard times,” he said.
The workers in Mayfield now took four trucks full of equipment with them.
Saas said they will keep a rotating group of people in Western Kentucky for several operational periods.
“Fatigue is something that we have to be constantly aware of because once we get fatigued, we start making poor decisions, we aren’t as acutely aware of our surroundings,” Saas said.
He said the department has enough men and women in Lexington to respond to local emergencies.
Their goal is to share the load in the aftermath of a disaster.