Colonel Patrick Callahan, of the New Jersey State Police, announced the deployment of 80 members of New Jersey Task Force 1 to assist with search and rescue operations as Hurricane Florence moves towards the Carolinas.
The highly trained team, comprised of police, fire, and emergency medical personnel, was deployed from New Jersey Task Force 1 headquarters in Wall Township late last night. The task force members are skilled in a variety of search and rescue operations including swift-water rescue, which will allow them to conduct rescue operations in a flooded areas. All costs associated with the deployment will be fully reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“The team being deployed to North Carolina represents a significant portion of the overall task force, but a larger portion of the group and equipment will remain in New Jersey ready to respond to any potential emergency at home,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan. “And although the impact of Hurricane Florence remains uncertain, what is certain is that the highly-trained men and women of New Jersey Task Force 1 will be in place ready to assist those in need.”
New Jersey Task Force 1 is managed by the New Jersey State Police and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management and has members from all 21 New Jersey counties. The task force is designated by FEMA as 1 of only 28 nationally recognized urban search and rescue teams in the country. This designation means that New Jersey Task Force 1 has the capabilities to respond to a disaster anywhere within the United States.
Since receiving this designation in 2016, the task force has deployed to Hurricanes Matthew, Harvey, and Irma as well as local emergencies throughout the state. As Colonel Callahan was on hand to brief the task force before their deployment and wish them well, he also thanked the 25 members currently deploying on the Hurricane Florence mission who, 17 years ago today, also answered the call to deploy to Ground Zero in the immediate aftermath of the September 11th Attacks.