Indiana's Task Force One Returns Home

A search-and-rescue team from Maryland is gearing up to assist with the response to Hurricane Irma.

Task Force Six Canine Search Team has been activated to help after Hurricane Irma made landfall in Puerto Rico. LES crews spent Friday preparing trucks and equipment for the long drive to Florida. It then appears increasingly likely to rip into heavily populated South Florida early Sunday.

Airmen and soldiers with the Nebraska National Guard were expected to return home from Texas this weekend after responding to Hurricane Harvey rescue efforts, and stood ready to deploy to Florida if called upon, a spokesman said.

The team includes the four dogs, their four handlers, and three others who will be there in a managerial capacity, said McClellan. "It doesn't matter who goes and who stays because everyone is pitching in", said Menlo Park Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman.

"Some of the vehicles were damaged during Hurricane Harvey, so when they came back they had to fix that".

After meeting at the Virginia Beach Fire Training Center Monday afternoon, the 45 member task force had originally left for San Juan on Tuesday.

Another 17 members of Lincoln's fire department will join the team for this deployment, but didn't go to Texas.

"It's what we do", Ganger said, adding that about 90 percent of the people on the task force are firefighters. The full task force is still awaiting word from FEMA about where it will be sent.

Over the next few hours, team members will begin arriving and loading almost 60,000 pounds of gear onto semis, which will be driven out to Florida to meet the team.

"It's a sense of fulfillment", Thavenet said.

  • Rogelio Becker