Local search and rescue members back from the Florida Panhandle


HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Tidewater Search and Rescue shared pictures on social media, giving people a glimpse of their latest mission.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management activated them, and members like Kevin Brewer were sent to Mexico Beach.

They met up with other organizations that were part of their strike team.

Greater Atlantic Rescue Dogs K-9 Search and Rescue sent a K-9 and a handler down. Five other teams from across the state also responded to help.

“We went down knowing we would be embedded with Florida task force team 3 and then team 7, those are FEMA teams from Florida. We also got with us a Georgia-based volunteer team of three with K9s,” said Brewer.

RELATED: Virginia Task Force 2 returns from Hurricane Michael aid in Florida

And they all worked together for a main mission, to find a handful of people who were unaccounted for.

But the mission wasn’t the easiest of tasks, they had to comb through thick piles of destroyed homes and businesses.

“We’re in awe, it’s unbelievable what the state of Florida encountered,” said Brewer.

He says it was difficult to see homeowners digging through woodpiles that used to be their homes.

“One woman had found a glass bowl, it’s the only thing she knows she had. It was unscathed it’s the only thing she had left was one little bowl,” he said.

Brewer says the people they were tasked with finding were found, but he couldn’t go into more detail about them.

He says they completed their mission and took the trip back to Virginia.

Tidewater Search and Rescue is a non-profit and Brewer says they are in need of upgrading some medical supplies and equipment that they use on missions, if you’d like to help, visit their website: http://www.tsar.org/

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