MCFRS News Release

Maryland Search and Rescue Team Activated

Maryland Task Force to Deploy to Louisiana and Texas

On Thursday afternoon, September 11, 2008, Maryland Task Force One (MDTF-1) is expecting to be activated and deployed to the Louisiana and the Texas region to assist in anticipation of the arrival Hurricane Ike.  MDTF-1 is a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) supported Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) team based out of Montgomery County, Maryland and comprised almost exclusively of personnel from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service.  At this time, team members and support personnel are assembling gear and making personal arrangements for deployment.

At FEMA’s request MDTF-1 will be dispatching a light task force comprised of 35 persons, including specialists from various disciplines such as structural engineers, search and rescue canines (dogs), technical search, communications, planning, hazardous materials, medical (including a physician), as well as management oversight.  Whenever activated, the team is always self-sufficient.

A caravan of at least nine (9) vehicles and equipment included one tractor trailer, passenger vehicles, pick-up trucks, and several other support vehicles, with drivers and relief drivers, will depart the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Academy this afternoon.  Some other members will depart later in the day and travel by commercial airline. 

Other FEMA Urban Search & Rescue task forces and Incident Support Teams (IST) are initially being deployed and pre-positioned in the region, including teams from Ohio, Virginia, Missouri, and Florida to enhance FEMA assets already in place.  There are 28 FEMA US&R teams in the United States. Additional US&R resources are available to respond from Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service should they be requested by FEMA.