Oct. 30, 2012
The Phoenix Fire Department’s Urban Search and Rescue team, Arizona Task Force 1 (AZTF-1), has been given their activation orders which frees up a limited amount of federal funds to begin the deployment process in anticipation of a full deployment to the East Coast for Hurricane Sandy. If deployed, they will travel over the road in an 11 or 12 vehicle caravan across the country to respond to the weather emergency. There are seven of the 28 national FEMA teams currently deployed to the disaster. A limited number of other teams, including AZTF-1, remain on alert.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the families who have lost loved ones and all of those on the east coast battling the effects of hurricane Sandy,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. “More help is on the way from all corners of our nation, and the Phoenix Fire Department stands ready to aid in any way it can. We are in this together and Phoenix is ready to help.”
“It’s an honor to serve as councilman for a city committed to helping our neighbors in times of need,” said Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski, chair of the City Council Public Safety, Veterans, Ethics and Transparency Subcommittee. “Our first responders answered the call after 9/11 in the east and the fires in the west, and they have answered the call once again. Let’s keep the many families impacted by this storm and our first responders in our prayers. God bless.”
AZTF-1 is an elite team of 80 persons with representation from both Phoenix Fire and Police Departments. The team has been deployed on some very high-profile incidents, including the Murrah Building bombing in Oklahoma City, the World Trade Center in New York City, and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Their mission remains to save lives by developing, maintaining, deploying, and supporting Urban Search and Rescue. They work under the direction of an Incident Support Team. They provide for initial contact, rescue and immediate medical needs, including transportation of trapped victims.
One of the Phoenix Fire Department’s assistant fire chiefs has been deployed as one of the national incident support teams and will be working to support the task forces.
For more information about what this activation means, contact Captain Larry Nunez at 602-370-5718.
|Captain Larry Nunez