September 14, 2018
Earlier this week, a team of over a hundred NYPD and FDNY members were deployed to North Carolina in advance of the arrival of Hurricane Florence. The team was ordered to support and prepare for rescue and relief efforts as the hurricane approached the east coast.
The Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) New York Task Force 1 (NY TF-1) team was activated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The team is managed by the New York City Emergency Management Department (NYCEM) and is made up of specially trained personnel from NYPD and FDNY.
Between September 11th and September 13th, 48 police officers, 51 firefighterst/ETMs, two NYC Emergency Management staffers, and six canines were deployed, along with various equipment and tools to support its operations, including 14 water rescue boats, motors, items to support rescues from collapsed structures and confined spaces, a compilation of hazardous materials response equipment, and other specialized tools to aid in swift water rescue operations.
The police officers and canines are part of the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit (ESU). Officers selected for the FEMA team are specially trained to deploy at a moment’s notice to disasters in New York City, the United States, and even internationally to conduct rescue operations at disaster sites.
New York Task Force-1 has been deployed 20 times since 1995. The team has responded to emergencies worldwide, including Hurricane Katrina, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Matthew in 2016, and to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017.
Photos courtesy of the New York City Emergency Management Department