By Bryan Boggiano
In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Coral Springs is stepping help to help Floridians on the state’s west coast.
The city confirmed Friday that nine employees are deployed throughout Southwest, West-Central, and Central Florida, helping recover from Hurricane Ian, the strongest storm to strike the region since Hurricane Charley in 2004.
Hurricane Ian made landfall Wednesday in Lee County as a Category 4 hurricane with 150-mile-per-hour winds and destructive storm surge. Florida’s most recent death toll is over 70, and insured damages are expected to exceed over $40 billion.
The deployments include four Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department members stationed as part of an engine strike team.
The strike team members include Captain Justin Parrinello, Driver Engineer Tim Riley, Firefighter James Cooper, and Firefighter Jesse Weldon-O’Bryen.
They will be stationed in Estero for two weeks to assist with search and rescue operations, provide medical supplies and fire suppression equipment, and help take 911 calls, according to the city.
The city also has one employee deployed to help with the State of Florida Incident Management Team in Hillsborough County, an additional employee in the Disaster Medical Assistance Team, and three employees in the state’s Behavioral Access Assistance Program Team in Orlando.
The assistance comes as the Coral Springs Coconut Creek Regional Chamber of Commerce collects supplies for Floridians affected by Hurricane Ian.
According to Lynne Martzall, director of communications and marketing, as part of the state’s incident management response team, the deployments come as the city receives mission orders from the state.
She stated that more city employees could participate in Hurricane Ian relief efforts throughout the state in the coming weeks.
This includes members of the Coral Springs Police Department’s Fraternal Order of Police, who are in touch with FOP lodge presidents throughout the state.
Martzall stated that the FOP is mobilizing to provide relief efforts for law enforcement officers and the communities in Southwest Florida, with plans to bring in more supplies.
Besides law enforcement, she said that the International Association of Firefighters started to mobilize to support fire rescue personnel and the communities that Hurricane Ian affected.
“Just as we have relied on other public safety agencies after a disaster or incident, it is our duty to support our fellow Floridians in their time of need,” Martzall said. “Seeing the widespread damage so close to our proximity, it’s important that we lend our support.”
- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan is pursuing his masters in geosciences at Florida International University. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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