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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — First responders from all over the country are stationed in Florence’s path, already making rescues and providing assistance.

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The Pennsylvania National Guard is one group from the Delaware Valley on the ground right now, helping people.

“We are at McEntire Joint National Guard Base about 15 miles east of Columbia,” said Captain Travis Mueller.

Mueller is one of more than 30 members of the Pennsylvania National Guard task force now assisting residents affected by Hurricane Florence.

Credit: NOAA

“We’re prepositioned here and we’re taking all direction from local authorities whenever an emergency arises we’ll answer the call from them and respond where we’re needed,” said Mueller.

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Winds and sustained drenching rain is expected to be a growing problem, as the storm lingers.  Pennsylvania National Guardsmen are readying their equipment as the storm inches closer and closer to the state.

“We can perform rescue missions like rescuing stranded civilians on a hoist, we can perform transportation missions like taking food and water to stranded citizens,” said Mueller.

Major Trevor Patrick is no stranger to hurricane rescues–he’s a pilot, who’s been deployed to some of the most recent hardest hit areas, devastated by natural disasters.

“Last year we deployed to Texas for Hurricane Harvey. Following Hurricane Harvey we self-deployed from Texas directly to Florida to support Hurricane Irma last year,” said Patrick.

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