Cranston firefighters in Houston aiding in Harvey relief


CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – Two Cranston firefighters are in Houston until Saturday to help with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

Scott Robinson and Brendan Colman flew down to Texas on Sunday morning and immediately got to work.

“They immediately sent us to work with a firefighter from Houston,” Robinson explained over the phone Monday night. “He [the Houston firefighter] has cancer and his house is devastated. I couldn’t do enough for the guy. I felt terrible for him.”

As we’ve previously reported, the International Association of Fire Fighters was the one to call Rhode Island and request help. In all, six Cranston firefighters will spend time in Texas. They were originally supposed to leave together on Sept. 10, but Robinson and Colman were called down earlier than anticipated due to conditions.

“Neighborhoods are loaded with debris,” Robinson said. “Flood waters were pretty high in this area.”

Robinson told Eyewitness News on Monday that firefighters in the Houston area have been averaging about 5,000 calls a day since Harvey first made landfall. He said just because the flood waters continue to recede, does not mean problems have been diminished.

“The E. coli level is 125 percent higher than normal limits,” he said. “So, we’re really pushing for [people to get] vaccinations for Tetanus and Hepatitis A.”

Robinson and Colman are slated to help in the Houston area until Saturday, Sept. 9. The other four Cranston firefighters are then scheduled to fly to Texas on Sunday, Sept. 10. But, Robinson says that plan is all dependent on Hurricane Irma, which is now a Category 4 Hurricane near the Caribbean.

“Within the fire service, there’s nobody that takes care of us better than us,” Robinson said. “The response that we’ve gotten from firefighters in this area [of Texas] is unbelievable. They are so relieved to see us.”

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