LAKE WORTH, Fla. (CBS12) — Florida State Trooper Antonio Altamiranda got the call early Wednesday morning that he would be heading north to help with Hurricane Michael.
“I jumped up and started packing and took a shower and my wife helped me out and I was out the door in an hour,” said Altamiranda.
Altamiranda is part of the Florida Highway Patrol’s quick response force that mobilizes for events such as hurricanes.
“Excited, but mixed emotions too. You want to help people, but you’re leaving your family behind,” said Altamiranda.
FHP said close to 300 troopers have been deployed to the Panhandle statewide and nearly 600 will be there to help altogether.
“We’re prepared. This is what we prepare for all year long and we’re ready to go,” said Altamiranda.
Captain Christopher Chappell says they’re ready to assist however necessary.
“We’ll assist with search and rescue obviously first thing and then once things are stabilized, we’ll assist with traffic control in the intersections and help the local officials with anything they need,” said Chappell.
They have no idea how long they’ll be there.
“We’re a little bit nervous about how long we’re going to be deployed for and how bad the storms going to be and what we’ll see when we get there,” said Captain Chappell.
Once they’re there, the nerves will surely fade away.
“It’s great. This is really what a lot of us signed up for to help people in a time of need,” said Chappell.
The troopers will stage in the Gainesville area Wednesday night.