ROCKPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Volunteer firefighters from this small Maine town are ready to help their counterparts in Rockport, Texas to recover from hurricane damage.
The Maine department is hoping to send six to seven people to Texas as soon as the formal request with FEMA goes through.
The idea began on Monday with town selectman Owen Casas, then with firefighter Justin Ford, who says he has a business colleague in the Texas town. Both men say Rockport, Texas suffered a lot of storm damage, although not as much flooding as other areas.
Casas says they got approval Tuesday night from the town's board of selectmen, and have started raising money through donations and a GoFundMe page. They say they don't want to use local tax money for the relief trip and are depending on contributions. As of late Wednesday morning, $1,500 had already been donated.
Ford said the team is "ready to go on a few hours notice." But that won't happen until there is a formal request from Texas to Maine, either for general assistance or specifically for Rockport to go to assist Rockport. Casas said they don't yet know if the request will come. If not, they will send the money they raise to the Texas town.
Ford said he has been to Rockport, Texas several times, and that his friend told him there is considerable damage to buildings, downed trees, and other wind damage. He said the firefighters in Texas are going to need a break AG some point, and the Maine team could at least provide that he;p. He said they have already checked to make sure Maine's firefighter certification matches that in Texas, which he does.