Tennessee Task Force One on the way to help Hurricane Matthew vicitms


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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- When you think about help coming from the Mid-South, you know Tennessee Task Force One is among the first to get the call.

A highly-qualified team of 80 men and women with the best possible training are on their way to help and show their long history of always being ready to deploy at a moment's notice.

The team found out about the trip around 2 p.m. Thursday. They had hours to pack and say goodbye to their families.

"It's nerve-wracking. You're worried about their safety," said Cindy Henley. "But this is their calling. This is what they do."

There's no doubt, she and her daughter-in-law are nervous.

"Our hope is that they get down there, and it's going to be an easy job for them," said Henley.

Her son is a member of Tennessee Task Force One, which is a FEMA search and rescue response team.

He and about 80 others volunteered and trained long hours to be able to respond to disaster like tornadoes, earthquakes or in this case a hurricane.

"This is his first deployment," said Henley.

His first deployment came just ten days after his son was born.

"It is a dangerous situation. We have a really good mix of very experienced people and newcomers," said MFD Division Chief Thomas Beasley.

Beasley said the team will first head to Georgia then to wherever Hurricane Matthew strikes and help victims who are trapped, lost or injured.

"We will people. We have k-9s. We have doctors with us. We have structural engineers to help us with sizing up buildings," he said.

The team has thousands of dollars worth of specialized equipment.

Typically, they do a door to door search.

"We know that we do a lot of good work, and we do make differences in the small parts of life," said Beasley.

Thursday night, the team headed out knowing they could be gone for up to 10 days.

"Send [them] their prayers. Pray for the people that are facing the storm," said Henley. "If there's lives to be saved, these guys will do it."

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