Local Firefighters Heading South to Help with Alex

By: Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - When a call for help comes, they answer. On Wednesday, some West Texas firefighters got the heads up, they'll be heading south to help out with Hurricane Alex.

"What time do you want us there?" Interim Fire Marshal David Hickman said when he got the call.

But it wasn't a total surprise, they've been watching Alex for days.

"We have some members on standby ready to go if they need us," Interim Fire Chief, Jeff Meiner said.

And it looks like they'll be needed along the coast.

"We're going," Hickman said. "If we get, we have to have a 213. It's an order that has to be issued from the state. We can't deploy until we get that 213."

He expects they'll get that order in time to ship out Thursday morning.

Three or four first responders from the local incident management team are heading out.  This group is all from Midland and Odessa, but the team also has first responders from Big Spring and other communities.

"We're all packed up and ready to go and we're subject to be gone for about 14 days on response. We're self sufficient for 72 hours," Hickman said. "We have food and water to last us that long. Then when we get there, there'll be a base camp established, we help manage the base camp for the first responders."

This isn't Hickman's first time responding. He has sleeping bags, a tent, portable shower and even a portable toilet. He's still pumped and ready to help out.

"I've been a firefighter for 28 years and that's what we do," Hickman said. "We see people at their worst and we help make their world a little better at the time. So, I'm looking forward to going down and helping with the state."