Two West Chester fire officials deployed to Hurricane Irma in Florida
Weeks after two West Chester first responders were deployed to Texas with Ohio Task Force 1, two more are going to assist disaster response teams in Florida.
Assistant Chief Dave Pickering (pictured left) and Shift Lt. David Mainwaring, Station 71, (right) have been deployed with the Butler County Incident Management Team (IMAT) for Hurricane Irma. The category 4 hurricane is forecast to potentially make landfall in South Florida the weekend of Sept. 9-10.
“On Thursday morning we leave for the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee, Fla. We will stage there until officials can assess the damage and decide where to dispatch crews,” said Asst. Chief Pickering. The IMAT team departed Ohio at 7 a.m. and will be deployed for 14 days.
Pickering will serve as deputy of operations in charge of fire and rescue, and Mainwaring will serve as medical branch director for IMAT. They expect to be part of forward area command providing support and equipment.
“We are a supplement to the Florida State Emergency Operations Center in their relief and recovery efforts,” Pickering said. While deployed, fellow West Chester Fire Department personnel will pick up their shifts.
Combined, Pickering and Mainwaring have served with IMAT for about five years and have several more years of natural disaster response training and experience under their belt. Pickering was one of the original members of Ohio Task Force 1 and spent several days working at Ground Zero in New York City after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Butler County IMAT is an experienced all-hazards incident management team consisting of professionals from various public- and private-sector disciplines in Southwest Ohio.
Follow the IMAT team on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/State-of-Ohio-Butler-County-Incident-Management-Team-1593882367500947/