Photo of Resting Texas Deputy Goes Viral

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HOUSTON, Texas (CNN) — As the rain continues from tropical storm Harvey, so do rescue efforts across the state of Texas.

In Houston alone, police have saved at least 34-hundred people, a number that’s expected to rise.

The governor has activated the entire Texas National Guard, roughly 12-thousand troops.  Officials at the state, county, and local levels are working tirelessly – A fact laid bare by a now-viral photo illustrating the massive effort being expended. It shows a deputy collapsed against a desk from fatigue catching a few moments of rest.

CNN’s Alisyn Camerota spoke to the deputy Tuesday. 

Camerota: “Rescuers are working day and night with little sleep, as you can imagine. Hence, this picture, of a Harris county deputy sheriff that has gone viral. Deputy Robert Goerlitz is sleeping against his desk after working around the clock. Deputy Robert Goerlitz joins us now on the phone. Good morning, how are you doing this morning?”

Robert Goerlitz: “Cold and wet.”

Camerota: “I bet you are. You’ve been doing yeoman’s duty as everyone knows. Before we get to that can you tell us the story behind this photo?

Goerlitz: “I’m sorry?”

Camerota: “Tell us the story behind this photo of why you were sleeping. It looks like, it truly looks as if you basically fell over from exhaustion.”

Robert Goerlitz: “Pretty close. I was on for 21, 22 hours right when I finally got something to eat and sat down.”

Camerota: “And how excited were you when you woke up and you found out one of your buddies had taken a picture of that has gone viral and been shared 600,000 times?”

Robert Goerlitz: “Yeah, a little bit, uh, a little nerve-racking somewhat or a little bit surprising, i didn’t expect any attention from any of this.”

Camerota: “What did your colleagues say to you? Was this in good fun? Are you mad at them or are you happy that the story is getting out of all that you guys are doing?”

Robert Goerlitz: “Well, it was kind of, it was done in fun. It was my sergeant’s wife that was there, took a picture. She thought it was kind of funny just the way of collapsed on a bag of charcoal.”

Camerota: “Used as a pillow. So but deputy sheriff, tell us what your life in the past 24 hours has really been like. You said you were working 21 or 22 hours and what were you doing during that time?”

Robert Goerlitz: “We were driving a, me and my partner, Andy Keene, driving a five-ton high water vehicle and in the clear lake area and we were pushing that vehicle to its limit several times. We came across a couple folks inside of cars, surprised they were still alive and able to get them out of the cars and get them in the back of the truck when we were taking this woman to the hospital because she was having a heart attack.”

Camerota: “Oh my gosh, and do you know what the outcome was?”

Robert Goerlitz: “She made it. She was fine.:

Camerota: “I mean listen, deputy Goerlitz this is the point, you are out there 24 hours finding people in all manners of distress and saving their lives. When you show up, people are stranded in their car, what is the moment like? Are these people who thought they weren’t going to make it?”

Robert Goerlitz: “It is. To see the look on their faces when they show up and it’s scary for us because we don’t want to find them in the worst way we could and it’s overwhelming to finally see, eight kind of surprising, he’s alive! And you see a hand print come up onto the window and get them out of the car and loaded up and they’re so thankful that we were coming down the same road.”

Camerota: “Oh my gosh. Deputy sheriff Robert Goerlitz thank you for the good work you’re doing and sharing the foe foe. We appreciate hearing the her herculean effort behind the scenes. Thank you and get some rest.”

Robert Goerlitz: “Thank you, ma’am, we will.”

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