Greensboro’s Swift Water Rescue Team recovers American flag from Florence waters

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- As Hurricane Florence tore into eastern North Carolina, the Greensboro Fire Department's Swift Water Rescue Team lent a hand.

Among the team's rescues, one in particular stood out.

On Sunday, the Greensboro Fire Department shared a photo on Twitter of the team with an American flag recovered from a river.

The department returned Sunday afternoon and had already begun cleaning and decontaminating trucks, boats, gear and equipment.

Firefighter Arthur Waddell said Monday that crews rescued families and pets as the Black River continued to rise following the storm.

“Every single call you went on was something different. And you try to keep that in perspective that everybody’s situation was different and you try to treat those people with as much respect as possible because they’re dealing with the most difficult time of their lives,” he said.

Waddell said that around 30 firefighters made the trip to the coast. He said many of them hadn't yet fully processed what they saw.

“We’re looking after each other because it’s a lot you see, it’s a lot you deal with, you just try and make sure you’re there for each other and you take care of your family and be grateful for what you have because there’s a lot of people at home that lost everything, they don’t have anything,” he said.

During their time stationed in Pender County, Waddell said the entire community looked after the crews called to respond.

“Those people looked after us like we were their family. And I will always remember that, people bringing us food and making sure we were taken care of when they had nothing,” he said.

The fire department shared a number of photos from the team’s mission to the east.

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