QUAPAW — Members of the Quapaw Nation’s fire and emergency medical services departments were part of a team of 10 rescue and law enforcement officers that deployed to Florida Sunday night to assist victims of Hurricane Dorian.
As part of a larger deployment, the team left Sunday night with supplies and a couple of swift water rescue boats, arriving at the Florida National Guard’s Camp Blanding in Starke Monday afternoon.
Jeff Reeves, Quapaw Nation public safety director, assisted in the hectic scramble to get the team on the road.
“We put it together so fast,” Reeves said. “When everything was a ‘go,’ within two hours, we had to have everything packed and ready to get on the road.”
He also provided an update Tuesday afternoon that the team was instructed by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) staff when they arrived to be prepared for action.
This is the third hurricane deployment in three years for the Quapaw Fire/EMS team; others included Houston in 2017 for Hurricane Harvey and North Carolina in 2018 for Hurricane Florence.
“It’s one of those things; I feel nervous for them because I’m not with them,” Reeves said. “And a little bit of pride in knowing where they are going and what they will be doing. It makes you feel good to be a part of helping people. That’s what we do.
“This is our third deployment so we are getting to be old hats at it. We are getting there anyway.”
In a press release from the Quapaw Nation, it was noted that “after members of QNDPS had finished dinner at a local restaurant where we were thanked by several people for helping, we returned to our vehicles to return to Camp Blanding. Attached to our vehicles were hand written thank you cards, thanking us for our service from a county commissioner from Clay County.”