Local rescue crews head to the Bahamas to assist in Hurricane Dorian recovery effort

While Hurricane Dorian may have hit hardest hundreds of miles away, help is on the way from Northern Virginia.

Members of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s Urban Search and Rescue Team left Chantilly Wednesday afternoon and headed to the Bahamas, where they’ll largely focus on potentially dangerous search and rescue operations.

“I consider it an honor,” said Capt. Tracey Reed who is one of 57 first responders making the trip, along with four canines. They’ll be a part of the federal government’s Disaster Assistance Response Team, coordinating with the Bahamas government in an effort to save lives.

“It’s going structure by structure, whether it’s buildings or houses, to make sure there’s nobody still inside or if they’re on top of a roof and are able to ask for help,” explained Reed.

It’s not her first time doing this type of work, although she described Dorian as a particularly deadly storm.

“It was high wind, it was a lot of rain, but then it didn’t move,” she said. “It just sat there for a couple of days and so that’s when I think the severe impact came because they were just exposed to that wind and that rain and the storm surges for several hours over a couple of days and it’s pretty devastating to be able to survive that.”