Local firefighters, officers travel to New Jersey to help with relief

A team of firefighters and a police officer is headed from Williston, in Barnwell County, to New Jersey. (WRDW-TV)

A team of firefighters and a police officer is headed from Williston, in Barnwell County, to New Jersey. (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012

WILLISTON, S.C. -- The trailer is loaded, the convoy is fueled up and a team of firefighters and a police officer is headed from Williston, in Barnwell County, to New Jersey.

"When you see disasters like this strike, and everybody pulls together, it makes you proud to be an American," said Tommy Crumley with the Williston Fire Department.

That's why Crumley took to Facebook a couple days ago. To his friends and firefighter family, he posed the idea of a trip up north to help out after Superstorm Sandy.

"When we started, we had no idea we'd get this much support. We thought we might fill up a truck and maybe part of a trailer," said Officer Frank Mebane with the Williston Police Department.

Officer Mebane, along with Crumley and the other firefighters, have filled up two trucks and a trailer.

All the stuff is being driven up to Little Ferry, N.J. It's a borough of about 10,000 people, and it's only 7 miles from Manhattan.

During the superstorm, a tidal surge put the town underwater.

"It makes you thankful for the things you do have that we take for granted every day. Lights, power, heat and fuel for instance," Crumley said.

But this was made possible by more than just six firefighters. Organizations and everyday citizens pitched in from Williston, Barnwell, Aiken, North Augusta and beyond.

"A lot of times in my job, we see the bad part of the community, not the good part, and with all this, it seems like everybody has come around from around here and put everything even their heart into it," said Officer Mebane.

Crumley and his crew left Thursday evening and have now arrived in New Jersey. After dropping off the stuff Friday, they'll drive back down to about Maryland, buy more stuff with financial donations and return to New Jersey to help in any way possible.

News 12 has received this email from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's office: "This is a really impressive and incredible show of support. It was just last week that the governor was in Little Ferry, but there are so many areas that need the help. This sort of thing is amazing to hear about."

Be sure to check our News 12 Facebook page for their pictures and updates. You can also follow the team on Twitter @fdreliefteam.

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