PA Task 1 returns home from Florida following Hurricane Michael aid mission

Friday, October 19, 2018
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PA Task Force 1 returns from Hurricane Michael mission: Vernon Odom reports on Action News at 5 p.m., October 19, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The 80 members of Pennsylvania's acclaimed search and rescue task force, PA Task Force 1, arrived back home at midday Friday from their latest mission.

They spent 10 days in the Hurricane Michael ravaged Florida panhandle.

More than half of them come from the Philadelphia Fire Department. One of 28 elite rescue teams overseen by FEMA, this time they rescued four people and evacuated more than 120, searching more than 9,000 structures in their 1100-mile journey through two counties.

"Some people lost everything, just everything they owned," said Henry Brolley, of the Philadelphia Fire Dept. "It was a lot of devastation: trees down, houses collapsed. People need a lot of help."

75 percent of the group had just returned from a 17-day deployment in the Carolina's in the wake of Hurricane Florence, which saw devastating flooding after days of rain. This time it was the wind that wreaked so much havoc.

"It's a lot of destruction and damage," said Peter Crespo. "It's is just a different perspective on what Mother Nature can do."

All the task force members will be returning to their regular assignments after a few days off.

The task force will stay at the ready, as hurricane season is not over until the end of November.


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