A large group of Orange County firefighters left Irvine for Texas Friday in anticipation of Hurricane Harvey making landfall.
The task force, comprised of 45 firefighters from the Orange County Fire Authority and Anaheim and Orange fire departments, is trained for search and rescue in a disaster environment, according to the fire authority’s Capt. Larry Kurtz.
“They have the ability to perform wide area searches, render medical care, perform rescues in static or swift water, and assess hazardous materials situations,” Kurtz said. “…The purpose of these task forces is to provide additional support to local first responder agencies.”
The task force departed after midnight, headed for the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The 1,350-mile drive will take approximately 18 to 20 hours, according to Kurtz.
“Task Force 5 is comprised of highly trained individuals from the OCFA and our cooperating agencies, and are always prepared to respond to disasters locally, statewide, and nationally,” said Battalion Chief Mike Petro who is the task force’s program manager. “We are ready to assist the citizens of Texas with our personnel, equipment, and expertise.”
The task force should be in place before hurricane Harvey makes landfall on Saturday, Kurtz said.
The slow-moving storm is expected to produce large amounts of rainfall, increasing the danger of flooding.
—City News Service
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