Ouachita Parish search and rescue team to help with Hurricane Michael

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Local crews are gearing up and going to the Gulf Coast. The Region 8 Urban Search and Rescue Team is headed to Florida.

State Fire Marshal Chief H. “Butch” Browning said the Florida State Fire Marshal has requested a Type-2 USAR team from Louisiana. A total of 90 people from Louisiana have deployed to Florida, including 12 from Ouachita Parish.

While most people are leaving the Florida gulf coast, the search and rescue crew is doing the opposite - heading straight into the storm.

"It's a little unnerving at first, but we prepare for these things and we train for them," crew member Brett Turner said.

The search and rescue team has trained for years, working on different rescue techniques.

Turner says when it comes to hurricanes, he knows what to expect.

"We’re really expecting some high winds, a lot of rain. There's probably going to be quite a bit of rain and surge damage," he said.

Officials say the team will be stationed just outside of Florida while the storm hits, then they’ll move to Pensacola.

The State Fire Marshal says when crews reach the coast, they'll first do a primary rescue to look for injured and trapped people. Then they'll do a secondary search by going door to door and making sure nobody is left behind.

Chief Browning said this crew brings more than just hard work though.

"What I love about where Louisiana responders go, is that in the end, we bring about humanity,” He said proudly. “They appreciate what our spirit has carried and what Louisiana people are. Are we'll leave there with a lot more friends than we had."

Turner says this team has one goal: "To save some people and help some people out of a bad situation so everyone can get back home safely," Turner said.