As crews from around the country help rescue residents and clean up after Hurricane Harvey in Texas, a Westerville Division of Fire lieutenant will be among those doing the rescuing.
Lt. Marcus Chapman is a member of Ohio Task Force One, a Dayton-based branch of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's urban search and rescue groups.
Chapman was sent to Texas as part of a 43-member team after Harvey made landfall Aug. 25.
There, Chapman will help search for displaced residents, rescue those waiting for the massive flooding to recede and use a K-9 unit to track anyone who has been missed by other responders.
Westerville firefighter Nick Jones also is on the team and volunteered to go to Texas, but the group had enough volunteers.
Fire Chief Brian Miller said that while the job is a dangerous one, he appreciates when members of his team push themselves in these situations.
"I'm always concerned about their safety, but it's good because it allows them to get that training," he said. "And a lot of the time, they bring that back to our department as well."
Miller was on a similar team in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana.
He responded to New Orleans, and said the scenes one finds can be intimidating even for experienced responders.
"It can be overwhelming at first," Miller said. "A lot of times, it's hard to see a community that has suffered so much devastation. But it's always a good feeling to be there and know you're doing everything you can to help them out."
Miller said he had spoken to Chapman as of Aug. 28, and Chapman already has a story of helping to free a pair of firetrucks from a collapsed fire station.
Chapman is spending most of his time there working, and Miller said he would likely be using all available free time to get some sleep.
No timeline has been set on Chapman's return from Texas, but Miller said he expected it could be multiple weeks.
When Chapman returns, Miller said he's sure he'll receive the warmest of welcomes.
"He'll probably want to get home and spend time with his family," Miller said, "but when he comes back to the firehouse, we'll be glad to see him."