VANDALIA, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio Task Force 1 is deploying more team members down to Florida to help their search and rescue mission.
According to a release, 36 additional members are preparing to head to Florida on Thursday. These members have skills in various aspects of search and rescue operations as well as HazMat, medical, logistics, safety, communications and planning.
Team members have been on standby since Saturday and say they’re ready to make an immediate impact but know they’ll be going into a difficult situation.
“I would be horrified if we have to start looking for deceased people,” said Program Manager Evan Schumann. “With regards to this mission, they’ve said this is in the top fifth worst hurricane to hit the United States so S suspect we will be involved in pretty serious operations.”
This is not the first time the Task Force deployed to Florida, Schumann recalls the mental strain Florida’s Surfside Tower collapse had last year.
“I’m really hoping this doesn’t turn into our last deployment in Surfside where we helped recover 97, or 98 deceased victims in that collapse,” said Schumann.
A total of 36 Type 1 team members were deployed Thursday, totaling over 80 Ohio Task Force 1 members responding. Initially, the team’s mission is search and rescue, hoping it doesn’t turn into disaster recovery.
“Our first mission is search and rescue and once the water recedes, we check on people and if the community says some people can’t be found then they may ask us to go to their house or place they might be,” said Schumann.
Task Force 1 expects to be deployed for at least 14 days.