While most southwest Floridians sat back and watched Hurricane Dennis churn past – a few were packed their bags to head north. State emergency managers in Tallahassee called 41 members of the Southwest Florida Urban Search and Rescue Team to duty even before Dennis made landfall in the western Panhandle. Two teams – one of flood/swift water rescuers, the other, structural collapse specialists - left Sunday. Spokeswoman for the local task force - Christie Knudsen says one team is already on its way home…the other is searching a barrier island.
“Apparently it was documented that some people stayed on the island during the storm…so local officials have asked Florida Task Force 6 to search the island and make sure those people are accounted for and well, as well as make sure there’s no one else needing assistance on the island.”
Task force 6 is made up of 72 members of fire departments around Lee County. It’s put to use locally, regionally or anywhere its needed. Members of the task force were called up 3 times during the 2004 hurricane season. After Frances, they headed to Brevard County near Cape Canaveral – after Ivan they went to exactly where they are right now… Knudsen says they’re even staying at the same high school as last year.
Tuesday, 12 July 2005 01:00