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First responders come together at Ft. Lee for storm preparations

"This is a pleasure"

FORT LEE, Va. (WRIC) -- More than 100 emergency response teams from all over the country are using Fort Lee as a staging area in anticipation of Hurricane Florence. 

FEMA has hundreds of emergency responders on standby to provide help with hurricane relief. 

For some EMTs, deployment is nothing new. One man from New York who spoke with 8News said Hurricane Irma last year forced him to be on the road for two weeks.

"This is a pleasure," said BLS Critical Coordinator, Michael Spaccarelli. "It's a pleasure to serve the community and it's a pleasure and honor to be down here."

From Bronx, New York to Fort Lee in Virginia, Spaccarelli's emergency unit joins nearly 300 other men and women ready to respond. 

"Once the storm hits, and they figure out where the resource and help is needed, they'll end up sending us to a secondary location and we'll rally at that second location and deploy as needed for the local community," said Spaccarelli. 

Emergency responders came from all over, including Ohio and Michigan. Holly Martin says organizers at Fort Lee are happy to have the army base serve as a staging area. 

"What's great about Fort Lee is the location," U.S. Army Garrison for Fort Lee, Holly Martin said. "It allows us to have immediate access to two major interstates." 

When responders get the call, there's no time frame on when they will return home.

"There's no way to exactly know what the storm is going to do until it actually does make landfall," Spaccarelli said, "so it's always best to err on the side of caution."


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