ROCKFORD (WREX) — A Rockford firefighter returns to the Stateline after his deployment in Louisiana to help with Hurricane Ida recovery efforts.
Lieutenant Erik Meyer was ready to finally put his training to the test when he got the call that Louisiana was requesting out of state assistance.
Meyer joined the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) IL-Task Force 1 about 10 years ago after his former Lieutenant encouraged him to. This is the first time he has been deployed on a national mission for about a week.
Meyer joined other team members across the state and deployed on Aug. 30 with all the supplies and equipment needed to support his team of rescuers and surveyors in the most devastating parts of the storm.
That's including in Addis, Louisiana. It's a town in West Baton Rouge Parish. Meyer put his logistics services to use and assembled a base camp with five western shelter tents to sleep and prepared any necessary equipment for rescuers.
"We just support the team throughout the day. If they need additional resources based on the collapsed buildings that they find, we will run that out to them if necessary. This mission was a lot of humanitarian aid so it was a lot of just checking on people to make sure that they were okay, giving them MRE's, meals ready to eat, and bottles of water," said Meyer.
But just as the MABAS team found comfort in its system, it was time for their efforts to be focused back at home.
"We were all a little bit disappointed that on Saturday night we got the orders to demobilize. We were just kind of getting into the grove of it. We had a good system going, everything was working well, we had good feedback from FEMA on the way our teams were searching. So it was hopeful that we could continue on making a difference but we accomplished what we needed to and returned home," said Meyer.
According to Meyer, the communities in Louisiana were so thankful for all first responders who assisted in the aftermath of the storm. He said he felt honored to help make a national difference.
Meyer returned home on Sept. 5.