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Local firefighters deploy for southeast Missouri emergency response
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Jan. 28, 2009) — Four Pulaski County firefighters left early Wednesday morning for an emergency statewide mutual aid request to the southeast Missouri community of Kennett.

About 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night, St. Robert Fire Chief Chuck Fraley sent out an emergency pager request for all fire chiefs in the county to contact him regarding a statewide emergency response request.

“Our regional coordinator for Region I out of Rolla called me because I’m the Pulaski County emergency response coordinator. We have been requested, if we can get personnel together, to support Kennett,” Fraley said. “I don’t know what happened up there or was causing the request; I just know we were asked to get as many people as possible together.”

The statewide mutual aid request, Fraley said, was for people trained as first responders or emergency medical technicians, or who had received Firefighter 1 training, to be available for 48 hours of emergency response service in Kennett with deployment to begin Wednesday.

Pulaski County fire chiefs reported a strong response to the mutual aid request, Fraley said, and submitted numerous names and information about training levels to statewide emergency response coordinators. By midnight, Fraley said state officials in Rolla had selected four firefighters — two from the Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District and two from the St. Robert City Fire Department — who deployed at 4 a.m. Wednesday. Three are volunteer firefighters, Fraley said; the fourth is a full-time firefighter who volunteered to deploy to Kennett on days when he wouldn’t be working as a full-time firefighter.

Details of the need for emergency response weren’t immediately available, Fraley said.

“I have not heard of Kennett before; (firefighter) Shea (Dadson) is looking it up to find out where it is,” Fraley said.

According to online news coverage from the local newspaper, the Daily Dunklin Democrat, the Kennett area had been badly hit with power outages due to ice storms. As of Tuesday morning, the community had received 300 to 500 reports of power outages and at least four reports of structure fires.

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