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Marco Patriots step up to help Surfside

Reporter: Sydney Persing Writer: Jackie Winchester

Volunteers groups in Southwest Florida aren’t hesitating to answer the call for our friends on the East Coast.

Members of the Marco Patriots are home after stepping up to help at the disaster zone in Surfside. It’s work all too familiar to the group that specializes in hurricane rescue.

Aerial footage shows up what’s happening at Surfside’s ground zero, but only those on the ground can tell us how it feels, what’s on the minds and in the hearts of first responders.

Matt Melican is a member of the Marco Patriots. He went to Surfside to help first responders braving the dangerous and delicate pile of rubble to find possible survivors, including children.

“It’s very difficult to be patient, but that’s what it calls for,” he said.

Patience is in high demand in Surfside, Melican said, for everyone – for families waiting for word, of course, but even for the volunteers, willing and able to help.

There are so many helpers and not always enough to do, so the Patriots came home but kept their bags packed, ready to return if they’re needed.

“On our end, we’re totally packed, ready, our equipment is packed, ready to do search and rescue, bucket brigade, feeding, we’re very anxious.”

They’re anxious to rescue and anxious, if need be, to recover. They’re ready either way.

Melican said they can provide 750 hot meals a day. So far, they’ve raised thousands of dollars for Surfside victims and their families.