Ohio Task Force 1 moves south to heavily damaged area


LAKE CHARLES, La. (WDTN) — Ohio Task Force 1 (OH-TF1) is working with several other FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Teams as they continue to work through southern Louisiana in response to Hurricane Laura.

As of 9:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 28, OH-TF1 has moved from Shreveport to the Calcasieu Lake area, which is south of Lake Charles.

“The team got a good night’s rest after a long haul from Ohio. All our members are healthy and ready to go to work,” said Jack Reall, Team Task Force Leader. “The spirit and enthusiasm of these men and women is simply amazing. They are well trained and ready to jump in to help the people of Louisiana recover from this storm.”

According to state officials, the majority of the 84-person team consists of members from across the Ohio. They make up the following team components:

  • The Search Team – Includes canines and handlers. Designed to search areas for victims and assess damage
  • The Rescue Team – Prepared to rescue victims after the Search Team has located them. This includes heavy lifting capabilities, breaching and breaking capabilities and other extrication functions.
  • The Medical Team – Assigned to handle medical needs of both the victims encountered and provide care for any needs the team itself requests.
  • The Hazardous Materials Team – Intended to assist the other team with hazards that are likely to be encountered.
  • Logistics and Planning Team – Planning ahead for team needs, documenting team efforts and findings and fully supporting the team as they move and function in damaged areas.

Officials said that further updates Friday may be sparse due to the area being heavily damaged and cell coverage being limited.

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