This year was crazy disaster-wise. We kicked off the field season a bit early in February with brush fire after brush fire. The 2017 wildfire season was one of the worst our county saw since the 90s. I began training for field response, which was accelerated due to the sheer amount of response we conducted on the fires. These bad boys varied in size from 2 acres to 2,275.
A 250 foot sinkhole followed in July. This thing was huge!! It swallowed two homes, part of a county road, and part of a driveway from a third home. We worked response/recovery on this one for approximately six weeks.
We stood ready to deploy to Texas for Hurricane Harvey but Irma had her own plans for Florida. Thankfully, our county fared well. That said, our regional team was called to assist the Florida Division of Emergency Management in their recovery bureau. We spent two weeks in Tallahassee to hold down the fort while their staff rotated out to get some rest.
A week later, I was deployed to Orlando to assist at the Joint Field Office with FEMA and State employees to help coordinate the Puerto Rican Evacuation. I learned a lot on this deployment and reiterated my love for response over the other aspects of my job. After so much time away from home, it’s nice to get back to “normal” for a few days. We never know how much down time we’ll get so it’s important to take full advantage of that time! Here’s the kicker…2017 isn’t even close to being over!!