Volunteer first responder during Harvey responds to President Trump's comments

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - While praising the work of the U.S. Coast Guard, President Donald Trump took what could be interpreted as a slight jab at Texans.

It's a comment that has rubbed several people the wrong way.

As the co-founder of Crowd Source Rescue, Matthew Marchetti (a volunteer first responder), had a front-row seat to the most beautiful moments of humanity during Hurricane Harvey.

"It didn't matter who you were ... race, religion, politics, all of that just went out the window. We were all just neighbors. Everybody helped everybody," Marchetti said.

Marchetti said thousands and thousands of rescuers were using the website he helped create to coordinate rescues.

Civilians worked alongside brave first responders in an effort to save thousands of lives.

That's how he remembers Harvey.

During a conference call Wednesday on hurricane preparedness, Trump thanked the Coast Guard for its work during Harvey, but may have also taken a jab at some folks in the Lone Star State in the process.

"The brand of the Coast Guard has been something incredible. They saved 16,000 people in Texas for whatever reason. People went out on their boats to watch the hurricane. That didn't work out too well," Trump said.

Marchetti said the people in their boats weren't watching the storm -- they were watching their neighbors.

"I don't think they were watching the storm, they were watching their neighbors. They wanted to see who needed help. They went and they did that ... and collectively the entire city rescued itself," Marchetti said.

Marchetti thinks what the president was really trying to say is that the Coast Guard did a good job during Harvey, and he strongly agrees.

Marchetti also said he believes Trump was misguided in how he chose his words.

“It could be seen that the civilian rescuers were out there lollygagging around, which from my experiences, I don't know of any cases like that,” Marchetti said.

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