The two Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department teams that deployed to South Carolina to aid in flood rescue efforts presented items from their trip to Fire Rescue Chief Mark Foulks at Thursday night's City Council Meeting.
Team member Mitchell Whittenburg spoke to Mayor Shane McFarland, City Council members, City Manager Rob Lyons, and the audience about their time in the flooded areas. He discussed their assignments, the gratitude they received from the people there, and their appreciation for the opportunity to help out during the disaster.
Whittenburg reflected on their last night in Columbia, "While eating at a local restaurant, the owner came out to thank us for the service we had provided and asked if we needed anything. We asked if there was anywhere we could buy a South Carolina flag to remember our journey and he replied, 'Give me a minute.' He returned with a brand new flag."
The teams presented Chief Foulks that very flag, embroidered with the names of all the team members and "Joaquin Floods 2015."
"On behalf of all team members that spent time in South Carolina, we would like to thank City Manager Rob Lyons and Chief Foulks for giving us the opportunity to use our skills, knowledge, and training to assist the citizens during their time of need."
During the demobilization process, each team member received a challenge coin from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency as a token of their appreciation. MFRD team members Josh Oliver and Chase Martin presented Chief Foulks and City Manager Rob Lyons with the same challenge coin.
"You were just as much a part of this team as the rest of us," Whittenburg told them.
Mayor McFarland expressed his thanks to the responders and Chief Foulks. He noted that sometimes questions are raised as to why our resources are sent out of state. He explained that it is a firefighter's nature to want to help where help is needed.