Local firefighters drove their emergency truck all the way to the East Coast to help battle Hurricane Dorian.
Gary Trojanovich was one of 2 Colorado Springs firefighters, and 16 Colorado firefighters, that braved the storm.
The group is called the “Colorado Task Force.” It’s a division of FEMA made up of our local first responders. They travel far and wide to lend their help.
“It took us 31 hours driving straight through to the location we went to in Florida,” Trojanovich said.
The crew left from Denver on August 30th and returned home on September 9th .
While battling Dorian, the firefighters put the skills they practice every day to the test.
Trojanovich says they were ready for action at an instant: “In 15-20 minutes you’ve got to be able to pack up and be ready to go to the next location.”
As the hurricane changed paths, the team raced up to North Carolina, where people were happy to see them, to say the least.
“Anytime we stopped to get fuel or stopped anywhere, they’d always come to us and take pictures with us, and thank us for being there, because they were real familiar with us from last time,” explained Trojanovich .
By “last time,” he means last year’s Hurricane Florence. The Task Force responded then, too.
Trojanovich says it wasn’t clear if the damaged they saw this time was fresh, or if the homes had still never been repaired from the last hit.
“The flooding was already starting to occur, most of it was right along the shore because the storm didn’t come inland as much as last time,” he said.
Above all, he says he’s proud the task force got out there again and helped in any way they could.
” It’s rewarding to know all of that training that we’ve done all of these years, and that we actually built this whole program. Now it’s something that we’re able to take and give to other communities as well, ” said Trojanovich .
Trojanovich says the Colorado Task Force has been deployed for at least 4 major storms across the country now, and they’re always ready to help with the next one.
Tune in to hear from Trojanovich himself tonight on KRDO at 10.