Fort Smith Fire Department Lends Helping Hand In Texas

FORT SMITH (KFSM) - People affected by Hurricane Harvey are trying to recover, and agencies across the country and at home have been doing what they can to help them out.

The Fort Smith Fire Department is just one of the agencies in our area that took the trip down to Texas to help Harvey victims. They're now back home and telling their story.

Firefighters said there are no words to describe what Houston and the small surrounding towns are experiencing.

"You can't describe it," said Captain Jeff Farris. "We literally saw homes, cars, churches, ball fields, and city parks all underwater and there was nothing left."

A total of four Fort Smith Fire firefighters from their swift water rescue team went to Texas taking two vehicles and two rescue boats.

Because the water levels were so high, they had to change their route so the team arrived in Kountze, Texas, which is northwest of Houston. Their mission was to transport families who were trapped and take them to shelters where they could get food, water and a safe place to stay.

The group said it's an experience they won't forget.

"It was an honor to go down there and represent the fire department and be part of it," Farris said. "It just makes you feel good and it's what America is supposed to be like."

As of right now, The Fort Smith Fire Department does not plan to send another rescue team to Texas. However, other local agencies like Arkansas Game and Fish plan to stay until the need is no longer there.