PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — More than 80 search and rescue workers from the Greater Philadelphia region are in Florida helping where they’re needed as the Southeast prepares to face Hurricane Dorian. The deployment is part of a national effort that’s being overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Lt. Ken Pagurek with the Philadelphia Fire Department is putting his local obligations on hold, as he and other workers with Pennsylvania-Task Force 1 lend assistance to folks in Florida.
Dedicated members of @PATaskForce1 including @PhillyFireDept @hbgfire @HACC_info @BaltCoFire and other participating agencies and numerous @NAT_USAR_NEWS TaskForces readying for #HurricaneDorian to make landfall. @ThielAdam @PhillyMayor @PhillyMDOEvents @pema https://t.co/qnqPgYTlIP
— Craig Murphy (@PFDCraigMurphy) September 2, 2019
“We are gathering geographical information, training, refresher training on various tools and instruments we use to help us search.”
Lt. Pagurek is the leader of Pennsylvania-Task Force 1, an urban search and rescue team.
He said they are currently stationed in Jacksonville, Florida and ready to jump into action, when they are needed.
“We are able to initiate and facilitate rescues, evacuations, infrastructure assessment,” he said.
The team, which consist of doctors, K9 search, and tech rescue specialists, has been in Florida since Saturday night. He said they are prepared to help out for the foreseeable future.
“I myself will stay until they don’t need us anymore. It can be two weeks, three weeks.”
Pennsylvania-Task Force 1 is one of 28 federal search and rescue teams overseen by FEMA.