LAFD Spokesperson: Jeremy Oberstein
LOS ANGELES – More than 70 members of the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) who were deployed as part of a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Urban Search & Rescue Task Force to assist with Hurricane Harvey response efforts have been redeployed to Alabama to prepare for a response to Hurricane Irma.
FEMA’s California Task Force 1 (CA-TF1) was originally deployed to Texas on Sunday, August 27, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The LAFD members, along with civilian support staff including medical doctors and K9 handlers, are specialists in water rescue, urban search and rescue, and hazardous materials response.
“I am proud of the men and women of the LAFD and all of CA-TF1 for their hard work and dedication to helping hurricane victims on what is turning into an extended deployment,” said LAFD Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas. “These LAFD members are true ambassadors across the nation in times of great need. It is a testament to the effectiveness of our Department that we can handle one of the City’s largest brush fires while still supporting a deployed FEMA team, 11 members individually assigned to brush fires across the West, and answering more than 1,300 calls for service we receive every day.”
After arriving in Texas early last week, CA-TF1 engaged in multiple days of rescue and recovery operations in communities southwest of Houston. CA-TF1 worked in concert with other FEMA teams and local and regional public safety agencies to rescue residents, pets, and livestock from communities inundated by the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey.
CA-TF1 was demobilized from the Harvey incident on Tuesday, September 5, and began making plans to return to Los Angeles. However, the team was ordered by FEMA to re-route to Montgomery, Alabama, on Wednesday, September 6, to stage in preparation for a response to damage caused by Hurricane Irma. Seven other FEMA teams are also being pre-positioned ahead of Hurricane Irma.
CA-TF1 is expected to arrive at its staging location in Alabama by midnight on September 7. The team is rested, in good spirits and prepared to continue helping those in need.
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