Utah’s Task Force One Deployed To Help With Hurricane Dorian Aid
Sep 3, 2019, 6:27 PM | Updated: Jan 4, 2023, 11:50 am
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah’s elite, federally-funded disaster response team is on its way to the East Coast in preparation for Hurricane Dorian clean-up efforts.
The Utah Task Force One team got its activation order just before 2 p.m. Tuesday. There are 200 members of the team and 45 of them will be heading to North Carolina.
“This is really why we are in the business,” said Chief Bryan Case, program manager for UTTF1. “We are absolutely ready [to go].”
Case said the team got the alert at about 6:30 p.m. Monday to be ready for activation. Once they got the activation notice on Tuesday, they had just hours to get ready to be on a plane.
The plane left Salt Lake City at 9 p.m. Tuesday and they are expected to report for duty in North Carolina on Thursday at 7 a.m.
This will be the first time traveling via aircraft since our response to the World Trade Center after 9/11. pic.twitter.com/4VJYI8jmNN
— Unified Fire (@FireAuthority) September 4, 2019
“We are all anxious to use our skill sets to go out there and do the most good to help the affected population,” Case said. “The focus will be on water rescue. We are going to take two of our six rescue boats. We will be taking some of our K-9 units out there with us, a lot of wide-area search capabilities.”
The last major water rescue for the team was during Hurricane Harvey in Houston in 2017. Case said the task force team helped to rescue 350 people from flooding areas.
There is no telling what to expect in North Carolina. The team is planning on at least a two-week deployment, but it all depends on what the hurricane delivers.
“Ninety-plus percent of our efforts goes to preparatory work,” Case said. “But the other 10 percent is what we live for.”