Apex rescue team weathered storm to help Irene victims

Posted August 30, 2011

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— The Apex Fire Department's swift-water rescue team practices regularly for emergencies like the historic flooding that inundated many communities during Hurricane Irene. So as soon as the storm hit the coast, they hit the road.

The department has 25 swift-water technicians and 20 divers, but only nine, led by Battalion Chief Mike Beasley, were deployed to the Albemarle Sound area of Tyrrell County on Saturday afternoon. They braved the storm's intensity and its aftermath for 48 hours straight, checking on residents who didn't evacuate.

"On a small scale it kind of reminded me of Hurricane Floyd, with the flooded towns and low-lying areas," Beasley said.

As soon as they arrived on the coast, Beasley said, the need for their unique training was all around them.

"We got there, found three people (whose) car had stalled out. The water was up in the car. They just needed basic assistance getting out of the flooded area," he said.

Battalion Chief Mike Beasley When Irene hit the coast, Apex rescue team hit the road

Even after Irene's eye had passed, the storm raged on.

"It was still raining sideways, the wind was blowing very strong and trees were breaking," Beasley said.

Beasley urged people who decide to stay behind during a hurricane to use common sense and be safe. Emergencies are dangerous for those involved, but they're dangerous for responders, too, he said.

"Listen to the authorities when they ask you to evacuate and go to safer areas," he said. "That way we don't have to go out into the storm." 


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  • wmb95013 Aug 31, 2011

    i believe some responders pray for the storm to come so they can "practice" their skills. What if a tree would of fell on them? When we see reporters and responders in the "eye" of a storm it makes people believe that then can weather it too!

  • 12-21-12 Aug 31, 2011

    I cant believe everyone takes the bait . Solarflare wants attention. Ignore the ignorant the will go away when they see nobody cares or agrees or even recognizes their comment.

  • Remy Aug 31, 2011

    "it's who you are and you either have it or you don't."

    Don't think solarflare has it.

  • leo-nc Aug 31, 2011

    "Soooo, the rescue team did their job?"---

    What do you do for a living? Do you go out and risk your life every day? Probably not. If it was you that was trapped or in a place where you needed to be rescued, at least you could have the common courtesy to be appreciative. I've worked with these guys before and they are top notch. Chief Harroway has one of the best departments in the state and he is excellent at what he does. This is the same Department that responded to the Chemical fire in 2006 and they were awesome. Once again, they risked their lives to help others. It's not just a job there buddyroo... it's who you are and you either have it or you don't. These guys have it. Believe me, I know. I've worked with them before.

  • chattycat Aug 31, 2011

    Soooo, the rescue team did their job? solarflare40

    How nice of you! How about some kudos to someone who went above and beyond the call of duty?

  • MyKidsMom3 Aug 31, 2011

    They did the job they were trained to do in an area they didn't have to go to. They didn't have to risk their lives in order to save/ help people over 100miles away. They did & that is the reason this story was written. So Solarflare40, instead of the snide comment you should be thankful people like the Apex team are out there & willing.

  • Remy Aug 31, 2011

    "Soooo, the rescue team did their job?"

    They risked thier lives in order to save others.

  • solarflare40 Aug 31, 2011

    Soooo, the rescue team did their job?

  • Shamrock Aug 31, 2011

    Great job Apex! hoop! hoop!

  • sunshine1040 Aug 31, 2011

    For You folks that chose to stay on the outer banks. Did you think about the other lives you were putting at risk because of your foolishnes
    Hope your property is safe just because you stayed also beaus I do not want to pay to rebuild it. Yup because you chose to build your house on the sand my ins premiums go up.