New York Task Force 1 departs for Dorian with other local crews

Posted at 11:03 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 23:04:19-04

BUSHWICK — They’re making their way to Florida to assist as Hurricane Dorian takes aim at the sunshine state.

Before leaving from the Bushwick location, they spoke to reporters, saying they remember how emergency personnel from all over the country came to help New York City during 9/11 and they will always return the favor when they can.

They’re joining other local crews.  PSEG New Jersey is sending 70 pieces of equipment and 100 of their people. NJ Task Force 1 is also sending a team. The Fairfield, NJ Red Cross is setting up a shelter in the Florida Panhandle.

New York Task Force 1 consists of  41 members and two K-9 units.  The team is made up of specially trained personnel from the NYPD and FDNY.

They are prepared for everything from water rescues to structural collapses. The team is going with their equipment, traveling in 13 convoys. They are the best of the best, the most highly trained emergency rescue specialists in the nation.

FDNY Battalion Chief Jack Flatley, Task Force Leader of New York City's elite Urban Search and Rescue Team spoke to reporters.

“We will be in Florida to assist in anyway,” said Chief Flatley. “Whatever they ask of us, we’ll be able to meet their needs.”

Florida utility companies are expecting up to 7 and a half million customers who may be without electricity for days and days.

All of Florida is under a state of emergency. The Florida National Guard is being activated.

Tonight, we're already hearing about the first mandatory evacuations - ordered for people living in low-lying areas.

New York Task Force 1 is expected to arrive in the state by Saturday evening.