BEVERLY (CBS) — FEMA’s Massachusetts Search and Rescue Team returned to Beverly on Wednesday in the rain.

For days, the 16 men had scoured 65 square miles of flooded landscape in Houston after Hurricane Harvey hit the area.

They were a part of the FEMA force that assisted in nearly 6,500 rescues.

“It is enormous, but you have to take it like a big sandwich, one bite at a time,” said rescuer Bobby Better.

femareturns Beverly FEMA Team Returns From Hurricane Harvey Mission

Massachusetts FEMA team returns Wednesday (WBZ-TV)

Ray Phillips is a firefighter but this was his first disaster deployment.

“Everyone of these guys would work 24/7 if you would let them,” he said.

Though FEMA in Beverly has more than 200 specially-trained troops, there is a possibility that some of those who were in Texas will head out again.

FEMA has already sent search and rescue teams to Florida in preparation for Hurricane Irma. A Massachusetts team may be summoned as soon as Thursday.

Rescuer Gerry Giunta said, “I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat, that’s why we do what we do.”

He added, “When it rains it pours, pardon the pun but that’s the way it is.”


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