SALT LAKE CITY — As Hurricane Dorian’s heavy winds and rain affect several southeastern states, Utah’s Task Force One is adding to national efforts to provide support for victims of the storm.
Equipped with rescue boats 45 members of Utah’s Task Force 1, a federally funded emergency disaster team, are expected to arrive in North Carolina Thursday morning.
“Many of these task force members train for a half a dozen years before they see a first deployment,” said Bryan Case, program manager for Utah’s Task Force 1. “It’s highly, highly satisfying for these guys to use those skills to affect people outside of this state.”
The team includes 30 members of the Unified Fire Authority, eight members of the Salt Lake City Fire Department, two members of the Park City fire department, one physician, two structural engineers, and two rescue canines.
On Monday night, the 200-person task force team was alerted to the hurricane’s damage, and received activation orders Tuesday afternoon. The team members responding to Dorian was set to fly out of Salt Lake City by Tuesday night.
The team is expected to arrive in North Carolina on Thursday morning and will focus their efforts on water rescue.
“We’re all anxious to use our skillsets and go out there to do the most good to help the affected population,” he said.
Dorian hit the Bahamas with Category 5 force, leaving widespread devastation and at least seven people dead. As it approaches the U.S. coast, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper sought a federal disaster declaration.
The last major hurricane rescue effort the team responded to was Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm that left 68 people dead and did $125 billion in damage in Texas in 2017.
Contributing: Dan Rascon