SWFL first responders return from Hurricane Michael relief efforts


Hurricane Michael is responsible for at least 16 deaths in the Florida Panhandle along with mountains of debris and destroyed property.

First responders from across Southwest Florida rushed to help our neighbors to the north.

MORE: Large swath of Florida Panhandle suffering days after Hurricane Michael

The storm which made landfall as a Category 4 storm ripped roofs off buildings and drenched homes in water as it brought 155 mph winds and torrential rain.

There is still plenty of work to be done and some first responders who are returning home say it is hard to leave knowing the job is far from over.

Chief Larry Nisbet is back home at Bayshore Fire Rescue but last week he was one of many helping in the Panhandle.

“A lot of the community that’s right along the water is gone. They lost their city hall, their fire station, it’s wiped,” he said.

And as neighbors sorted through the rubble of what was once homes and businesses, Chief Nisbet’s job was just getting started. The mission?

“To help, whatever had to be done whenever it had to be done, that was our mission.”

After seven days in the heart of the devastation, Nisbet say he’s happy to be home but if and when the time comes again, “firefighters we don’t say no,” he said. “We don’t know how to say no, and we’re not going to.”

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