Louisville divers on standby to help efforts in Houston

Louisville divers ready to help in Houston if needed

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Zipped up, packed and ready to go.

“We want to go help them,” said Tony Downes, Louisville Fire Department diver.

Downes is one of the 28 divers ready to leave Louisville in a moment's notice.

“We are being deployed for swift water rescue and dive training,” Downes said.

Fourteen Louisville Fire divers and 14 from the Harrod's Creek Fire Department are preparing to spend eight to 14 days in Houston helping local first responders in the recovery efforts in the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey.

“Hopefully we can make a difference and assist in any way that they deem necessary,” Downes said.

Houston officials put out the call for help this morning but it's still unclear when and if they'll need Louisville divers but that call could come at any moment. 

“I'm expecting pretty much the worst case scenario,” Downes said.

So they're packing up all of their equipment and ready to make that 15-hour drive to Houston.

“It is a temporary hardship but it's nothing like the people of Houston are going through. To us, we're glad to be able to do it,” said Capt. Salvador Melendez, Louisville Fire Department.

It's a trip that he's trained for his entire 19-year career and he's ready to lend his services in any way possible.

“I'll be prepared to stay until they send us home,” Downes said.

It's still unclear when they will be deployed to Texas. That call could come at any time. Officials tell us only 28 people are going but many more volunteered their services if necessary.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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