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Rural Metro Fire Responds to East Tennessee Flooding



Multiple agencies responded to serve Knox County residents

(Knoxville, Tenn.) — After nine consecutive days of excessive rain and massive flooding, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency declared a state of emergency on Saturday, Feb. 23 and Knox County’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated.
“We quickly responded to the declaration and were able to bring in more than 100 additional resources including off-duty personnel,” said Jerry Harnish, Rural Metro Fire Chief. “Working alongside the Knoxville Rescue Squad, the Knoxville Fire Department, Karnes Fire, Seymour Fire and the police and sheriff’s department, we were able to quickly come to the aid of the community.”
Between Saturday morning and Sunday night, Rural Metro Fire crews responded to 74 water rescue calls including rescuing stranded motorists to helping citizens evacuate from flooded homes. Most rescues were helped at the scene and did not require further treatment.

The floodwaters are now receding, but Rural Metro Fire is staffing vehicles to assist Knox County’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA) in gathering damage reports for affected properties of this storm. We are also working in conjunction with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency on disaster reporting to the Federal level for possible disaster relief.
According to a statement by Knox County Commissioner Larsen Jay first responders really came together to keep Knox County Safe. "It's a great testament to our first responders...who probably prevented a lot of further disasters last night, Jay commented.
Rural Metro Fire encourages residents to heed warnings regarding high water. Each year more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather hazard. The Centers for Disease Control report that more than half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous floodwater. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near floodwaters. Please heed The National Weather Service’s warning message, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown®.”
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About Rural Metro Fire Department
Rural Metro Fire provides fire, rescue, emergency medical, and other emergency-related services to communities in five states and to industrial complexes and airports in five others. Rural Metro Fire employs over 1,300 firefighters, paramedics, and other responders and answers 80,000 calls for service yearly. For more information, visit www.ruralmetrofire.com or Rural Metro Fire – Knox County on facebook, or @rmfireknox Twitter Rural Metro Fire, a subsidiary of American Medical Response, is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information about AMR, visit www.amr.net and follow @AMR_Social on Twitter and Instagram.

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