Thursday, September 14, 2017
Arkansas wildlife officers to help Florida Keys deal with aftermath of Hurricane Irma
LITTLE ROCK – For the second time in as many weeks, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife officers were asked to help with hurricane search and rescue. Twenty-eight AGFC wildlife officers were deployed to Florida on Sept. 9, to assist the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Irma.
The week before this deployment, 28 officers were deployed to the Texas gulf coast to help with the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. Several officers arrived home from Texas only to be deployed again the following week to Florida. Officers arrived in Havana, Florida near Tallahassee on Saturday and have since been assigned to travel to Marathon to assist in disaster recovery efforts in this hard-hit portion of the Sunshine State.
Officers will provide boats, ATVs and trailers to assist rescue operations. They expect to spend up to 10 days in the area before returning to Arkansas.
The group of wildlife officers is ready and willing to help another state deal with the potential damage caused by the massive hurricane, according to AGFC Enforcement Col. Greg Rae.
"Unfortunately, our officers have received firsthand experience on what to do and ways to help. But we're glad to do our part and help out another state. I'm sure if the roles were reversed, Florida would be one of the first states to help Arkansas deal with a natural disaster," Rae said.
The officers were sent to the area at the request of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. ADEM was contacted by the state of Florida for additional response help.