VANDALIA, Ohio (WDTN) – The Ohio Task Force 1 team sent to help search for victims of the Maui wildfires returned home to Vandalia Sunday morning.

The team of three handlers and three human remains detection canines spent around 10 days in Hawaii to aid with recovery efforts on Maui.

“We’re all happy that we were able to support the community and, and provide that service,” Canine Search Specialist for Ohio Task Force 1 Heather Ferguson said.

Ohio Task Force 1 arrived in Maui on Aug. 16, and began their hard work the very next day. The handlers and their canines worked on 12 hour work-rest cycles searching burned out homes, buildings, and vehicles.

Working alongside teams from Washington, Nevada and California, Ohio Task Force 1 searched between 50 to 60 buildings and vehicles per day.

“The mission went well,” Ferguson said. “We were able to support the community and support the FEMA teams that were deployed, as well as Maui PD in Maui Fire Department.”

Ferguson said the conditions on the island were challenging. The team had to work through the sun, heat and harsh landscape.

“We were working in conditions that where structures had burned significantly, and so there was a lot of destruction,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson said she is proud of the work her team did, and hopes that it offers some closure to the people of Maui.

“It’s not something that everybody does or would want to do,” Ferguson said. “I think are very proud of the opportunity to have been able to represent Ohio in this task force to to provide that service.”

Now the three member team, and especially their canines, are ready to head home to their families.

“The dogs are ready to be dogs again and get to run around and play and and do dog things,” Ferguson said.

After each mission, the team goes through a health evaluation, is offered the necessary support and is given time to decompress.