Gainesville firefighters deployed to Bahamas after Dorian

Some Central Florida firefighters are in the Bahamas to help out in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

In the Bahamas, there’s devastation unlike anything one rescue crew has ever seen before. 

“They are very much suffering there,” said Gainesville Fire and Rescue Chief Jeff Lane. 

Gainesville Fire and Rescue sent six men to Marsh Harbour. 

They are some of the firefighters deployed to one of the areas Hurricane Dorian hit hardest. 

“Time is of the essence right after this storm,” Chief Lane said.

The task force was sent down this weekend, initially, for 72 hours. Their trip has already been extended for another 72 hours, doing the work they wish they didn’t have to do. 

“They’ve done body recovery and assisted that, that very dire task. And they’ve supported structure to keep further collapses from happening,” Chief Lane said. 

The crew is also helping with humanitarian aid and assisting local police and emergency management with whatever they need.

Making this even more difficult is poor cell service and communication to the island. 

Chief Lane says he didn’t hear from his crew for a good 36 hours. 

“Much like a father waiting up for the teenager to come home, we were a little bit anxious, I can tell you. But we re-established contact with them and we established landline contact,” he said.

Lane says even during those brief calls with the crew, “they always point out how moved they are about the devastation.”