Manchester Firefighters deploy to assist ahead of Hurricane Florence

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Send-off: Manchester firefighters Tom Defina and Mike Meehan left early Wednesday morning to North Carolina as part of the NH Swiftwater Rescue Task Force in anticipation of Hurricane Florence. Photo/MFD

MANCHESTER, NH – Manchester Fire Department had a send-off early Wednesday morning for firefighters Mike Meehan and Tom Defina, who have been called on to assist with emergency operations in North Carolina, including rescue and recovery efforts ahead of Hurricane Florence.

Defina and Meehan, who have been specially trained for such emergencies, will be part of Swiftwater Rescue Task Force, a New Hampshire Taskforce which consists of 12 other individuals.

“Firefighters Defina and Meehan may be gone for as many as ten days,” said Assistant Fire Chief Richard McGahey. “They received word that they were needed last night, and are now preparing to aid the Carolinas as Hurricane Florence approaches the coast.”

Tracking Hurricane Florence. Graphic/NWS

“I am grateful Firefighter Defina and Firefighter Meehan have volunteered to travel to North Carolina,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “Manchester Firefighters work hard every day to keep our city safe, and I know they’ll be a tremendous asset to the efforts to aid residents who may be affected by Hurricane Florence.”

Firefighter Defina is a 19-year member of the Manchester Fire Department iscurrently assigned to Rescue 1 while Firefighter Meehan is a 17-year member, currently assigned to Truck 1. Both have completed Swiftwater Technician Certification through the New Hampshire Fire Academy and Defina is an Instructor for the program.

Florence is currently a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 miles per hour. It is expected to reach the Carolinas overnight on Thursday, and could bring 20-inches of rain or more in some areas. More than a million people have been ordered to evacuate coastal areas. Click here for the latest National Weather Service briefing on Hurricane Florence.