WHAT: PA-Task Force 1 returns from Hurricane Michael deployment

WHO: Members of PA-Task Force 1

Fire Commissioner Adam K. Thiel

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 19, between noon-2 p.m. (tentative – please check our Twitter account @PhillyFireDept for updates)

WHERE: 6601 New State Road, Philadelphia

Nearly 80 members of PA-Task Force 1 will return to Philadelphia on Friday after helping communities in Florida recover from damage suffered during Hurricane Michael. The Task Force is one of 28 federal urban search-and-rescue teams overseen by FEMA. More than half of the returning team works for the Philadelphia Fire Department, which sponsors PA-TF1; the other members are first responders from throughout the region.

Deployment recap:

  • About 45 members of PA-TF1 deployed from Philadelphia on Oct. 9 to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. An additional 34 members deployed from Philadelphia the following day.
  • The team ended up being stationed in the Florida panhandle, where members worked in Calhoun County and Jackson County to rescue four people, assist 16 people and evacuate 121 people.
  • PA-TF1 searched nearly 9,200 structures across the two counties, and made critical repairs at a damaged hospital in Calhoun County that enabled the facility to remain open.
  • The team’s convoy of buses, supply trucks and other vehicles left Jackson County on Wednesday morning and is stopping twice overnight on the approximately 1,100-mile journey home.
  • Two Task Force members, including a PFD Battalion Chief, remain deployed to serve on FEMA’s Incident Support Team.
  • PA-TF1 previously deployed to South Carolina for 19 days in September to respond to flooding caused by Hurricane Florence.