Hurricane Florence is impacting thousands in the Carolinas and many people across the country are finding ways to help. A Gibson County woman is being recognized across the country for her heroic act during Hurricane Florence.
Amber Hersel, Civilian Crisis Response Team volunteer, is being nationally recognized for a moment captured between her and 7-year-old Keiyana in James City, North Carolina. The two photos were taken by Chip Somodevilla, Getty Image photographer.
“That moment I was like you know what, this is where I’m supposed to be because families like this, this is why we do this,” says Hersel.
The Fort Branch native packed up Thursday morning to help those facing Hurricane Florence. The Civilian Crisis Response Team, based out of Central Indiana, have made roughly 56 water rescues.
“We do water rescues like we go out in the boats and help people whose houses are surrounded or starting to flood,” says Hersel. “All the way down to if someone has a tree you know in their yard that’s blocking them from getting in and out and stuff. You know we’ll even cut that and take it away for them. So we kind of try to do a little bit of everything wherever we’re needed.”
Hersel says the photo captured one of her first rescues.
“They got three children and brought them in,” says Hersel. “At the time I wasn’t sure what their situation was at their house and I just saw a scared little girl.”
As for the conversation exchanged between the two, “There was rain, it was pelting, it hurt. So I picked her up and was talking to her and asked her name and you know tried to talk to her about her family,” says Hersel. “She told me her parents were coming on another boat and that they had a pet dog. And I just kind of talked to her, distracted her from what was going on so she wouldn’t be so nervous.”
As a mom of a 7-year-old daughter, she says she would want other people to do the same.
“We’re one people and when we’re in a time of need we should all pull together and help each other,” says Hersel.
The Civilian Crisis Response Team says they plan on staying in North Carolina as long as they’re needed. The link to their organization can be found here.
44News is also teaming up with the American Red Cross to host a telethon this Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.