Midland Co. Northeast Volunteer Fire Department returns after Ha - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Midland Co. Northeast Volunteer Fire Department returns after Harvey relief efforts

(Source: Mat McClure) (Source: Mat McClure)
MIDLAND COUNTY, TX (KWES) -

The Midland County Northeast Volunteer Fire Department is back home after spending close to a week in Southeast Texas.

"We knew the devastation was going to be bad," said Fire Chief Mat McClure.

They arrived to San Antonio when the hurricane hit and worked with several other West Texas agencies as a task force. The task force consisted of Odessa Fire and Rescue, Winkler County EMS and Elite Medical. It was one of the requests needed to help the thousands that had to be evacuated in areas like Victoria and Houston. 

"It's the people," said Captain Chris Reed. "People needed help, we think of them like they're our family. It's what keeps us going is making sure everyone was out safe."

"We were headed down Interstate 610, passed a pickup. The pickup was full of people, little girl sticks her head out and waves at me. That just got me," said McClure. "I wanted to pull the ambulance over and put her in the ambulance with us so she was dry and safe but we couldn't, we were en route to a mission."

Every day, their mission was to evacuate hospitals and senior homes. They spent the most time transporting patients to the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, a spot where thousands took shelter.

"Our strike team and all the other strike teams out there, there wouldn't be anybody there to take those people out," said Captain Cody Elder. "A lot of them were bed ridden. They were on vents or had medical issues they had, they couldn't be moved."

With 36 to 48 hour work shifts and only getting 4 hours of sleep in their ambulance, there was still no stopping to make every life was saved.

"We were tired, we were hungry. We went four days without taking a bath. There was no place to shower but there were no complaints whatsoever," said McClure. "We had a mission task to go do, there was no questions asked. We went and did the task and everybody jumped in and helped everybody out. We're Texans, we're West Texans, we're here to help our fellow Texans. That's exactly what we did."

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