Colorado’s Emergency Responders On Standby In Aftermath Of Harvey

By Dillon Thomas

DENVER (CBS4)– As Tropical Storm Harvey continued to flood the suburbs of the Houston greater area, hundreds of Coloradans remained on standby to provide aid to the region.

While dozens already have headed into the disaster area to provide help, including members of the American Red Cross, some specialized response team members were placed on hold until FEMA needed their services.

harvey co response 645vo frame 505 Colorados Emergency Responders On Standby In Aftermath Of Harvey

(credit: Severe Studios/Scott Peake)

“It doesn’t matter where you are from, you just go out an help,” said Captain Dan Stutz, a member of Colorado Task Force One, a part of FEMA’s response team.

harvey co help vo tz transfer frame 150 Colorados Emergency Responders On Standby In Aftermath Of Harvey

(credit: Severe Studios/Scott Peake)

Stutz, who has served as a national response team member for more than 20 years, also serves for South Metro Fire Rescue.

colorado harvey help 10pkg frame 484 Colorados Emergency Responders On Standby In Aftermath Of Harvey

Captain Dan Stutz, a member of Colorado Task Force One (credit: CBS)

“Usually, we are on the front end of the teams coming in, trying to see where the greatest needs are,” Stutz said. “We can, literally, take our group of people, put them in a devastated area, and we don’t need any more support.”

harvey co response 6vo consolidated 01 frame 896 Colorados Emergency Responders On Standby In Aftermath Of Harvey

(credit: CBS)

While many first responders to catastrophes are firefighters, response teams consist of many other professions as well. Stutz said his team also consisted of structural engineers, K9 units, emergency room doctors, and civilians.

harvey co response 645vo frame 88 Colorados Emergency Responders On Standby In Aftermath Of Harvey

(credit: Severe Studios/Scott Peake)

Denver Fire Lieutenant Carlos Garcia said the Denver Fire Department would also be sending at least 12 members to Texas to help.

“What’s good about this is we’re equipped right now to take our own gear,” Garcia said. “We have our own boats, our own scuba gear, our own dive equipment.”

colorado harvey help 10pkg frame 1083 Colorados Emergency Responders On Standby In Aftermath Of Harvey

Denver Fire Lieutenant Carlos Garcia (credit: CBS)

Both Garcia and Stutz said the last time their teams had significant real-world experience with flooding in Colorado was in 2013.

“There is going to be a lot of standing water (near Houston) and moving water. So, we’re going to be equipped to do all of that.”colorado harvey help 10pkg frame 1454 Colorados Emergency Responders On Standby In Aftermath Of Harvey

Both Stutz and Garcia said they enjoyed serving others.

“I’m just another piece of a much bigger puzzle,” Stutz said.

harvey co response 6vo consolidated 01 frame 323 Colorados Emergency Responders On Standby In Aftermath Of Harvey

Captain Dan Stutz, a member of Colorado Task Force One (credit: CBS)

Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Denver

Weather App
Future Leaders
Together 4 Colorado

Watch & Listen LIVE