Roanoke, Lexington, Lynchburg first responders relieve tired Charlottesville crews

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) When Charlottesville firefighters need a break after working 48 hours this weekend, our hometown departments stepped in.

Roanoke, Lexington, and Lynchburg sent crews to relieve the overworked Charlottesville first responders.

"We got them ready to leave early Monday morning to be there at the staging area and provide some relief for their crews who had been had a very very long, hard weekend," Lexington Fire Chief Ty Dickerson said. "We're happy to do that. It's all part of the state wide mutual aid agreement coordinated through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management."

Roanoke's sent crews across the state in the past, but Lexington and Lynchburg officials say it's the first time they've sent crews so far for mutual aid assistance.

"It was a non-decision for me," Roanoke Fire-EMS Chief David Hoback said. "We've been in similar situations where our staff has been up against it, and we received some of that mutual aid as well. Our crews and a couple other mutual aid agencies went out there and allowed them to go home, spend some time with their families."

Departments got the call for relief Sunday night, and their crews were on duty from 7 AM Monday until 7 AM Tuesday. The department heads say they didn't hestitate to help, knowing Charlottesville crews would do the same for them.

"Other departments would be available to help Lexington in our time of need. So we're happy to help them," Dickerson said.

In all, eleven departments came to staff Charlottesville-area positions.

"Our hearts go out to the citizens of Charlottesville, all the public safety officers, and all they had to endure over the last 48 hours," Hoback said.