Lancaster-based First Response Team of America helps KY tornado victims

Courtesy: Chris Arace Photography

Members of the Lancaster-based First Response Team of America recently returned from tornado relief work in West Liberty, Kentucky.

An EF-3 tornado tore through the town of West Liberty on March 2. It was one of more than 40 tornadoes to touch down in the Midwest and South that day.

"We were able to set up our light towers, begin to help clearing roads, power up a local grocery store and gas station, one of the only ones within 30 miles," said Tad Agoglia, founder of First Response Team of America.

The team responds to disasters across the United States, just hours after they happen. The group works directly with meteorologists from the Weather Channel to pinpoint where natural disasters are likely to happen and set up equipment in advance. The team only has four members, but Agoglia said their high-tech equipment makes them extremely valuable to relief efforts.

"Communities don't often have the tools and resources they need to get back on their feet, so as a non-profit, we're able to come in with experienced staff and the right equipment and for free of charge," Agoglia said.

Team member Andy Nissley says he's proud of the work they're doing.

"It's just nice to know we can help make a little bit of a difference," he said. "We can't clean up the whole city, we can't do everything for everybody, but we're able to help as many people as we can."

First Response Team of America relies on donations from equipment companies and the public to operate. To find out more about the team and how you can help, visit the organization's website here.