For 8 heroic days, Swift Water Team rescued hundreds

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Swift water rescue team are humble heroes
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The Fayetteville Swift Water Rescue Team worked tirelessly for eight days, making hundreds of rescues.

FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) -- Life is returning to normal at Fayetteville Fire Station No. 11. That's where the city's Swift Water Rescue equipment is stored.

And while things here are getting back to normal, team member John Sorie said he will never forget the eight days giving hope to desperate flood victims.

"The looks on some of their faces, the fear, the uncertainty and to be able at least to get them out of the water,' said Sorie, a Fayetteville police officer and task force member.

Members of the Swift Water Rescue Task Force in Fayetteville made more than 700 water rescues during and after Hurricane Matthew pounded the state.

Task force members also answered calls for help from Bladen County and Kinston.


Assistant Chief Robert Brinson of the Swift Water Rescue Task Force said this was a "huge emotional event for all of our guys."

"A lot on the team that were deployed, their homes were flooded back here," Brinson said. "We came in Saturday morning at 6 a.m. to begin the process of dealing with Hurricane Matthew, and we did not get back till eight days later."

Getting to flooded homes was no easy task. Sometimes the rescuers had to wade through swift and often toxic floodwaters.


"The danger is contamination," said Stephen White, a task force member. "There are any number of diseases you can pick up if you encounter raw sewage, and then toxic chemicals, and pesticides in the water."

They brave the storm and the flood, dedicated police officers, fire fighters, and sheriff's deputies, who are part of this team of unsung heroes. They do it not just because it's their job, but because they can, and more so, because they care.

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