DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio Task Force 1 arrived in Kentucky around 6 a.m. Monday to help with tornado recovery efforts at their base on Murray State University’s campus.
The team departed from Dayton at 11 p.m. Sunday after being activated as a Type III Urban Search and Rescue team.
“They arrived this morning at about 6 a.m. with a team of 45 members which includes search specialists, rescue specialists, medical teams, K9 teams, and then logistics folks,” said OHTF1 Public Information Officer Phil Sinewe.
Sinewe says the first assignment began at 8:30 a.m. Monday as a wide area search. The search took place in the southwest section of Graves County. Maysfield, Kentucky, located in the county, was one of the hardest hit areas during the tornadoes.
“They’re looking for search and rescue potential. Are there people trapped in their homes still? The other thing they bring to the picture is they’re helping people who are standing in their front yards saying ‘we don’t know what to do next,'” said Sinewe.
Even through times of destruction, Sinewe says the team’s trying to stay upbeat as they go into their missions, ready to aid anyone who needs help. “They know that they’re going to help fellow firefighters, fellow United States citizens really in a time where they need a lot of help. When your house gets destroyed when your neighbors’ house gets destroyed this is a very difficult time for folks.”
Sinewe also encourages other Ohioans to do whatever they can to help support our neighbors in Kentucky. “The people in Kentucky need a lot. They need obviously our thoughts and prayers, but there are plenty of fundraisers and stuff for people in Kentucky that certainly need it.”
Sinewe says though the team could stay as long as 16 days, he’s not expecting their mission to be that long.