St. Louis metro firefighters deployed after Bollinger County tornado
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Within hours after an EF2 tornado raked through Bollinger County early Wednesday morning, firefighters from the St. Louis metro area were deployed to southeastern Missouri to help with search and rescue efforts.
In total 100 firefighters responded in the wake of the tornado. 50 came from St. Louis County fire departments and are a part of Strike Team 3. Another 50 firefighters were with Strike Team 5, made up of firefighters from Jefferson and Franklin Counties.
Rock Community Fire Protection District Fire Chief Kevin Wingbermuehle serves as assistant task force leader for Strike Team 5.
“Our mission at the time was to do secondary searches to support the local response,” he said.
Wingbermuehle said local police and firefighters had done an initial search of damaged homes in Glenallen but his team’s job was to make sure one one was missed.
“We look at building conditions we verify that nobody is trapped. We’ve talked to some of the local residents to be sure that they’re all accounted for. And then if the rescues are necessary, then we bring the equipment to go to work,” he said.
The Bollinger County tornado is the third time Strike Team 5 has been deployed after a tornado. But Wingbermuehle said members are trained for all types of urban search and rescue.
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