‘Next in line’: Ohio Task Force 1 on alert for deployment to Florida condo collapse

Miami Valley News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Ohio Task Force 1 (OHTF1) has officially been placed on alert by FEMA and is next in line to be deployed to the Surfside, Florida Champlain Towers Collapse if they are requested.

Task force spokesperson Phil Sinewe said Virginia Task Force 2 was deployed at 9 a.m. Wednesday, which places OHTF1 next in line.

An alert is official notification to start to final take steps to be fully prepared to respond. This is all part of the formal procedures the team uses for all deployments.

Sinewe said Monday that all indications are that Florida is managing the incident with mainly in-state resources. There are several FEMA assets on scene including FEMA Structural Engineers and a full Incident Support Team.  

OHTF1 has taken logistical steps to fully prepare the team to roll out. This process includes team rostering, physically loading equipment in the appropriate vehicles and taking preliminary medical steps to ensure the team meet specific health standards, including FEMA required COVID protection measures.

Much of that loading process takes place overnight by a small staff. The rest of the team will make personal preparations for the deployment and wait for any final orders before deployment.

“We know from experience that large scale events like this remain fluid, so our ability to maintain a roster on ‘Alert’ is critical to the ongoing mission in Sunrise, Florida,” said Sinewe.

OHTF1 is fully loaded and prepared to still deploy and assist if the resource needs change.

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