As Hurricane Harvey swept through Texas over the weekend, police officers, firefighters, and other emergency personnel stocked up on coffee and prepared to head out and save lives.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25, 2017. People all over Texas were affected by the storm, with the cities of Houston, Galveston, and Rockport especially hard hit.
Streets were flooded, houses were destroyed, and people were left in dire situations. In many cases, the flood waters rose so quickly that people weren’t able to evacuate safely, and did everything they could to stay safe while sheltering in place.
Meanwhile, first responders knew they had to do everything they could to rescue their fellow Texans. Houston officers immediately headed out to save people and animals from the storm’s impact.
A photo of a Houston officer posted to the website Reddit quickly went viral — and it’s easy to see why. The man, still dressed in uniform (with his flood boots still on), is asleep on the floor, wiped out from exhaustion.
Residents were told to shelter in place, and in some cases, evacuations were recommended to avoid floodwaters and stormy weather.
However, not everyone was able to escape the rising tides. That’s why police officers and first responders went out to face the storm head on.
They worked tirelessly, helping victims all over Texas.
Reddit users identified the officer as Deputy Sheriff Robert Goerlitz, who works at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
On their Facebook page, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office noted:
Deputies, dispatch and support staff are working beyond scheduled shifts, getting to victims due to the inundation of high-water rescue calls. The call for duty is exhausting at times, but it’s what we do. Our Detentions staff is tasked with keeping nearly 10,000 inmates, currently in our custody, safe and out of harms way. They, too, are working on low fumes.
This photo represents so many first responders. Their non-stop dedication to Texans is unbelievable. Continue to keep the victims in Harvey’s path in your prayers. Our deputies, dispatch, detentions, and support staff, too
People who saw the photo were immediately blown away by this sheriff’s deputy and his dedication.
One person wrote, “I bet he’s out there right now, still doing everything he can to help whomever he can.”
One mom commented on the photo as well, writing about her son, who is also an officer in Harris County.
My son is a Deputy Constable with Harris County Precinct 5 (Houston).
He just got off a 26-hour shift and was told to go home and rest but he is on call. It is mayhem out there.
Those guys work so hard. It is not an easy area to work, especially under these circumstances but they do a great job.
An officer working in the Harris County jail came across the photo and shared his own thoughts. He wrote:
Writing this from inside Harris County jail. We’ve all been working non-stop for 30 hours almost to maintain the facility. It’s no f****** joke but I’m proud of everyone here and the morale is still high.
Edit: In my sleep deprived state I messed up. Most people have been working 50+ hours already with no real break. It’s insane right now.
“For what it’s worth, I’m proud of you all too. Thank you for working hard to keep everyone inside safe,” another person wrote.
Without these officers and first responders, so many people would be stranded in their cars and homes.
If you’re grateful for the officers who put themselves in harm’s way to help others, please SHARE this article with your friends!