TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - As the storm rolls in, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue is preparing to roll out. Crews have spent the past two days checking their emergency vehicles and loading up their gear, so they can be ready to respond wherever the storm may strike.
"We always want to be prepared, planning has been going on, we've begun preparing. We actually started yesterday to get ready for all this," said Chief Dennis Jones with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.
Preparing for the storm is nothing new. Hillsborough's Fire and Rescue teams have played a part in picking up the pieces following some of the worst hurricanes the state has seen, and they've been taking notes. If Hurricane Dorian hits home, they're ready.
"Many of the things we've learned from Hurricane Irma, and even from Michael from last season, that didn't actually hit here, we were able to put those into effect for this storm," said Chief Jones.
Part of their response will include assembling what you might call the dream team. Firefighters, HCSO deputies, public works and TECO will all be stationed together at seven different locations, all with the same mission.
"We'll activate TSARs, which are tactical search and rescue units," Chief Jones told FOX 13. "If storm damage may occur, they're tactically placed throughout the county and they're ready to go out and perform life-saving measures."
But if the storm happens to spare the Bay Area, Hillsborough's Fire and Rescue teams aren't off the hook just yet as they plan to head to wherever they're needed.
"We're prepared to deploy units throughout the state of Florida and beyond as we've done before," said Jones.
Hillsborough Fire Rescue said they will have teams ready to roll out as early as Monday if needed.
Hurricane Dorian preparations by county:
- Citrus County
- DeSoto County
- Hardee County
- Hernando County
- Highlands County
- Hillsborough County
- Manatee County
- Pasco County
- Pinellas County
- Polk County
- Sarasota County
- Sumter County