NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - About 50 members of the New York Air National Guard's 106th Rescue Wing, based at Westhampton Beach, Long Island, are getting ready for deployment. Their first stop is Dover Air Base in Delaware and then will head to the Carolinas to offer assistance once Hurricane Florence makes landfall.
"There's probably a sense of duty, there's a sense of this is why we train to do what we do," Captain Michael O'Hagan. "We have a tentative idea of the when but the exactly where we don't know and the exactly what we don't know in terms of what effect that's going to have and where we can expect to be utilized."
Much of Wednesday was spent loading aircraft with vehicles and equipment. They'll be bringing helicopters and Zodiac boats with members trained in elite level rescue. Their responsibility is not about the long-term recovery but rather rescues within the initial days following the storm.
While the challenges are unknown at this time, these men and women have trained for them. They risked their lives and answered the call making more than 2,000 saves in a three-week period during hurricanes Harvey and Irma in 2017.
"We want people to know, let us know the need, reach out, work with your local and we try to do our best to help people out and ease the suffering of the after-effects of the storm," O'Hagan said.
Pararescue teams and combat rescue officers have already started making their way to Dover with vehicles and boats. Aircraft movement is expected to happen on Thursday.