What to Know
New York Task Force 1 will stage at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia, to respond to Hurricane Matthew rescue missions
The unit is comprised of 45 FDNY and NYPD members trained in rescue operations
Hundreds of workers and volunteers from the American Red Cross and Con Edison crews were also on standby
Local agencies from the New York area are helping people affected by Hurricane Matthew, a powerful storm that was moving up the Southeast coast on Friday.
FDNY and NYPD members were headed to areas affected by Hurricane Matthew for search and rescue as well as disaster relief as part of New York Task Force 1. And hundreds of workers and volunteers from the Red Cross were on standby in the hurricane zone, as were Con Edison crews in New York City.
Task Force 1 is comprised of 45 FDNY and NYPD members who are trained in search and rescue as well as first aid and other types of disaster response, including the use of cadaver dogs.
Downey said that Task Force 1 carries four hard bottom boats and two inflatable boats, and that its rescue specialists are all trained in swift-water rescue. The unit is the same one that went to Louisiana for Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and to Haiti following the destructive earthquake there in 2010.
“We have many positions on the team, from doctors to paramedics to heavy riggers. But I think our primary mission down there is going to be water operations,” FDNY Battalion Chief Joe Downey said Thursday at a press conference.
Task Force 1 will stage at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia, with 10 other teams from the East Coast and Midwest, including units from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and Virginia. They were scheduled to get to Dobbins by 5 p.m. Friday.
The unit was driving south on Friday morning with several trucks full of equipment for swift-water rescue, search and rescue operations, and collapse rescues. They have enough supplies to survive for weeks or even months in the hurricane zone.
As the storm sweeps through the southern East Coast, the unit will deploy teams out as needed to Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, all states where President Obama has declared a state of emergency.
Meanwhile, more than 500 workers and volunteers from the American Red Cross in New York City were on standby in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina as the storm continued to churn north on Friday as a Category 3 storm. The American Red Cross also had 90 response vehicles waiting to go.
Con Edison crews from the New York City area were also ready to help those who lose power during the storm. Some were already in the hurricane zone and others were standing by.