Midland firefighters are providing relief in Florida

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MIDLAND (WJRT) (9/4/2019) - Rescue workers arrived in Florida ahead of Hurricane Dorian, which includes two firefighters from Midland.

They're among those to keep those living in the Sunshine State safe as the massive storm inches closer. They've hit spots where they saw downpours and noticed a drop in temperatures as they got closer to the hurricane.

The Michigan Task Force 1 made its way across the Florida state line on Tuesday evening. The convoy's director said with a deployment like this one they need highly trained responders like these Midland firefighters.

"As we get closer to the ocean I'm sure we are going to see more precipitation," Michigan Task Force 1 Program Director Dave McIntyre said.

Bob Hoffman and Lt. Mark Laux are two Midland firefighters providing relief effort as Hurricane Dorian nears Jacksonville, Fla.

"They bring the element of professionalism, leadership, calmness under dire circumstances. They have been there before because they are seasoned firefighters. This is not for the new person with little fire service," McIntyre said.

Hoffman and Laux join more than 40 others to make up Michigan Task Force 1, which is a group of first responders from around Michigan highly trained in specialized rescue.

"We don't respond to a lot of large scale of events, but we are the only asset in the state of Michigan that is capable of. So, we stand at home, ready at any time," McIntyre said.

They left on Monday and finally reached their staging grounds at Camp Blanding on Tuesday night.

"We've run through several different scenarios as the hurricane changes its path," McIntyre said.

The team includes three K-9 units ready to do search and rescue operations.

"They can search for people underwater and they can go into collapsed structures," McIntyre said.

Task Force 1 is planning a 10-day stay in Florida.

"Quite honestly we hope that when we get down there and the storm moves out to the ocean, and no one needs our help," McIntyre said.