OTTSVILLE, Pa. (CBS) — Emergency crews are rushing to distribute bottled water to flood-ravaged eastern Kentucky. The deadly flooding damaged water systems and the availability of clean drinking water is scarce.
To make matters worse, forecasters warn that more rain is coming to the region.
Here at home, a Bucks County fire department is doing its part to help first responders in Kentucky.
The effort started Sunday afternoon from a Facebook post showing several Kentucky firehouses impacted by the floods.
“It’s what we do, we gotta answer the call,” said Cole Wendling with the Staledale Fire Department.
Inside the Ottsville firehouse, dozens of local firefighters and volunteers are packing up their equipment.
“Fire gear, self-contained breathing apparatus, hand tools, hoze, a whole pallet of boots,” Palisades Regional Fire Rescue Chief William Shick said.
But this time, those in need are some of their own.
“We help people here every day. This is helping another fire department that doesn’t have anybody else to help them,” Shick said.
Shick put a call out for fire and rescue gear donations after seeing pictures on Facebook of Kentucky fire stations flooded out.
“There’s four departments in the area we are going to in Knot County, Kentucky that lost everything,” Shick said.
Four days later, neighboring companies from Bucks, Montgomery and Lehigh Counties — and even New Jersey – donated more than $500,000 worth of supplies.
“The response was overwhelming,” Shick said.
“Tis is organized chaos,” Moyer Services manager Mike Helfrich said.
Helfrich’s company is also pitching in.
“We understand that one time our area may need help and we hope that people will be there for us,” Helfrich said.
As for the chief, one word says it all: “Pride.”
In a role that often requires split-second reactions, he’s humbled to pause and watch these heroes in action.
“This many people are out here in 90-degree heat to pack stuff up and send it off to people they’ll never see, they’ll never meet, they’ll never get a thank you for it. It’s pretty amazing really,” Shick said.
In total, four trucks are set to leave early Friday morning to make the 10-hour drive to Kentucky to personally deliver all of the supplies collected. The chief says right after they unload everything, they’ll be heading right back. He has not ruled out a second trip back.