EUSTIS, Fla. (October 15, 2018) – The Eustis Fire Department along with Lake County and Clermont are part of an Engine Strike Team that is helping with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in the Florida panhandle. The expected 10-day mission headed out on the morning of Saturday, October 13, deploying out of Tallahassee.
Team leader Eustis Fire Chief Mike Swanson and team assistant Lt. David Ziegler from the Lake County Fire Rescue are joined by other local fire departments. The Engine Strike Team 501 includes the following units: E109 Lake County Fire Rescue, E22 Eustis Fire Dept., Clermont Fire Dept., with both Eustis and Clermont personnel, E52 Cape Canaveral Fire Rescue., E37 St. Lucie Fire District, and E4 Indian River Fire Dept.
The Engine Strike Team 501 is currently assigned and stationed in Chattahoochee, Florida, northeast of Panama City. They continue to assist with recon, rescue, delivering food and water, and filling-in for departments that have been hit the hardest by Hurricane Michael. With resources stretched so thin in the Florida panhandle, the Engine Strike Team 501 is serving as 911 response for the City of Chattahoochee as local volunteers struggle with their own homes and lossess.
Overnight, the Engine Strike Team 501 extinguished four structural fires, with one being a total loss. Luckily no one was injured. With their acts of courage and kindness these men and women may just be ordinary individuals, but to us, the Engine Strike Team 501 are local heroes and we thank them for their support.