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Memphis area volunteers arrived safely to assist with Gatlinburg wildfires

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- All of the local volunteers from the Mid-South have made it to Gatlinburg, Tennessee safely.

The Mid-South has two separate teams in East Tennessee: Tennessee Task Force One and The Mid-South American Red Cross.

The well-known TNTF-1 is trained extensively in search and rescue.

The task force, made up of first responders from several departments, sent six K-9's and five handlers.

The crew has had trouble communicating with fire headquarters in Memphis because of cell phone service, but the group is on standby and waiting for marching orders.

Most of the Red Cross volunteers sent from our area are working in shelters to help those families most affected by the devastating fires.

The relief organization said Mid-Sotherners should be proud at the way Shelby County is responding to the disaster.

"It's a peace of mind to know that when disaster strikes, when crisis occurs we come together. We plan for this. Whether it's responding to our neighbors across the state or responding to our own community right here -- this is what we've all planned for," Laura Vaughn, with the Mid-South Red Cross, said.

The best way you can help is by donating money to the Red Cross or other reputable relief funds.