Suncoast organizations helping victims of Hurricane Dorian

Suncoast Lends a Hand

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - As Hurricane Dorian slowly and methodically approaches Florida’s East Coast, members of Suncoast fire-rescue departments have deployed for relief.

It’s the call of duty for North Port Fire Rescue Lieutenant Ed Evancho. He says it’s not just a job. “This is just a calling for us and you feel so great being able to help others in need,” said Evancho.

For the 15 years, Evancho has been with the North Port Fire Rescue, he has been asked to help numerous times, most recently in the panhandle after Hurricane Michael. “The devastation was just mind-blowing. I was in awe in the horror that it was actually. We found a house leaning on another home. Rental properties and beautiful beach front properties were just leveled," explained Evancho.

Battalion Chief John Waligora says the six members of the Technical Rescue Team deployed make up an elite group of firefighters, which includes two medics. They are equipped to handle a variety of rescue incidents involving rescuing victims trapped in a home or building collapse. “That can range anywhere from search and rescue operations and embedding with local first responders,” said Waligora.

The teams will eventually get assignments from the state’s emergency operations in the event the storm causes major damage.


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If the East Coast is directly impacted, first responders and their families are victims just as well. We’re there to ease the resources and help assist them. It’s going to be an increased call volume and we’re there to supplement their needs," said Waligora.

The following are a list of needed items or items that are believed to be needed in areas where Hurricane Dorian is expected to have an impact:

  • Medical Supplies – Bandages, Rubbing Alcohol, Antibiotic Cream, Peroxide, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Tylenol, Band-Aids, etc…
  • Insect Repellents
  • Cleaning Supplies – Bleach, Lysol Cleaners, Wipes, Brooms, Mops, Buckets, Trash Bags, Gloves, Face Masks
  • Beverages – Water, Gatorade, Juice, Coffee, Tea, Canned Milk, Evaporated Milk
  • Food Items – Non-perishable, Rice, Pasta, Soups, Sugar, Flour, Cereals, Canned Veggies/Fruit, Baby Foods
  • Hygiene Items – Feminine products, Shampoo/Soap, Toilet Tissue, Deodorants, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Lotions, Baby Shampoo
  • Baby Supplies – Formula, Diapers, Wipes, Baby Foods, Baby Medications
  • School Supplies – Notebooks, Pencils/Pens, Backpacks, Toys, Books, Games/Activities, Markers, Art Supplies
  • Clothing – Adult and Children Clothing in good condition, Towels, Rain Coats, Shoes
  • Other Supplies – Gas Cans, Gift Cards, Cash/Check, Batteries, Flashlights, Lanterns, Portable Fans, Water Filters, Pots/Pans/Cups, Small Kitchen Appliances, Coolers, Tarps, Work Gloves, Tools, Generators

The American Red Cross in Sarasota County also deployed three leadership volunteers along with supplies and vehicles. They will send more once the storm passes.

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