NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Nashville Fire Department teams deployed to the Carolinas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian returned home on Tuesday morning.
The teams were sent to the hardest hit coastal areas of Nashville Carolina, the Outer Banks, in particular Orcacoke Island, which was slammed by Dorian pretty hard.
Paramedic Tony Bryant and EMT Chad Lankford arrived to flood waters and washed-out roads. Both first responders were part of the Tennessee strike team.
“We got in there with our people from Sumner, Cheatham and Montgomery County,” said Bryant.
Both Bryant and Lankford were the first medics to reach the devastated island. They were prepared to treat hundreds of people for injuries, but that number was much lower.
“Most of them were just minor injuries,” said Bryant.
But there was an underlying ever-present danger lurking.
“Everything is on a septic system, so every bit of water on the island was contaminated. Anything you were walking through was contaminated, every little cut could be potentially life-threatening,” said Bryant.
What really stood out was the resilience of the people who live on the island.
“People coming down through there were gracious to us. They never ever complained about anything, lack of power, water … nothing,” said Bryant.
The 10-day mission left them with a sense of purpose.
“One of the best experiences we ever had,” said Bryant. “When they get back on their feet, that’s gonna be a cool place to vacation.”