Smith County officials are aiding Van Zandt County in the rescue and recovery efforts following Saturday’s tornados.

The Smith County Volunteer Fireman’s Association command trailer is set up at Canton High School as an emergency command unit. Smith County Fire Marshal Connie McCoy-Wasson and assistant Smith County fire marshals have been requested to assist the emergency management coordinator in Van Zandt County.

Mrs. McCoy-Wasson said they have set up a strike team consisting of 15 fire apparatus units and about 25 personnel to relieve those who worked the ravaged area Saturday night.

Following the storms Saturday night, Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran called the Van Zandt County Judge to offer any assistance the neighboring county might need.

“Our hearts are broken for our neighbors to the west, in Van Zandt County, during this time of need,” Judge Moran said. “Smith County has already deployed several assets to assist in rescue, recovery and rehabilitation efforts, and we are ready to assist however needed going forward. I am especially proud of the fast response and committed efforts of our local volunteer fire departments, the Smith County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, who engaged in providing assistance throughout Saturday night.”

The Smith County Sheriff’s Office has five units, with four deputies and a supervisor who are helping with the continued rescue and recovery in the Canton and Fruitvale areas.

“We are committed to supplying assets to this operation as long as they are needed,” Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said.