Update: Checking In with Mountaineer Strike Team in Florida - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Update: Checking In with Mountaineer Strike Team in Florida

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UPDATE: 9/13/17 @ 9:30 p.m.

KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) - Buzz Mason with the Kanawha County Ambulance Authority has provided an update for the Mountaineer Strike Team.

"The 13 members of Mountaineer Strike Team 18 are awakening at Cape Coral hospital in Fort Myers after our first hot showers and air conditioned sleeping arrangements since leaving WV."

"Yesterday, we conducted a hospital decompression operation, where we returned 19 patients to either nursing homes or their personal homes throughout the area. Today, we expect to provide relief to Lee County's 911 system by taking emergency calls. The graciousness of the Lee County EMS and its citizens has been stunning- we are constantly thanked by both EMS crews and citizens when they learn we are here from WV." 

"We believe today we had the first critical care transport for an inter-facility transfer."

The crew left for Florida last week, and a date for their return is not known at this time.


ORIGINAL: 9/10/17 

CHARLESTON, WV  (WOWK) -They call themselves the Mountaineer Strike Team; and paramedic, James "Buzz" Mason, says they are ready to roll.

"People are saying 'let's just get 'er done' that's what it amounts to," says Mason via Skype call this morning.

The crew of 23 from the Kanawha County Ambulance service are anchored down in Florida ready to face Irma head on.

"The sheriff told us, 'gentlemen, where you are standing right now the water will be above our heads tomorrow afternoon'."

The crew left for Florida last week. They aren't sure when they're coming home, but Mason assured me of one thing. 

"We have a goal with 23 people that everyone will come home the same way we left them, and that was a promise we made to a lot of people."

It wasn't a hard decision for the crew to pack their bags and head to Florida. Leaving friends and family. Even though mason was told this storm will be like nothing he's ever seen. The crew could be facing winds up to 150mph. 

"To me it's a sense of satisfaction. As a veteran you always want to do something that matters. And what we are doing right now matters."

Mason assured me the mountaineer strike team is ready to get to work, but there was one more message he asked me to pass along.

"Please give a shout out to all of the members of the mountaineer strike team, that everyone is safe, we are all good, and we are going to start business here shortly."

Reporting in Charleston. Hannah Goetz, 13 News, working for you.

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