EUFAULA, Ala. (WRBL) – As Hurricane Ida makes landfall in the Gulf Coast, firefighters and paramedics from all over the country are headed to the area to assist in any way they can. Some of those first responders are from Florida Task Force 1, FL-TF1, and more specifically Miami, Florida.
Maggie Castro, Firefighter and Paramedic for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Rescue Specialist for FL-TF1, said the task force had been preparing since Friday, Aug. 27, 2021.
“Today, we were just upgraded to a type one so they are rostering an additional approximately 40 people to meet up with us to make us a type one deployment which is up to about 85 personnel,” said Castro.
The task force receives orders from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA. They received orders on Aug. 29, 2021 around noon to report to Mississippi for hurricane relief. They will be reporting with their water assets which include Jon boats and Military Zodiac Milpro boats. They will also have equipment to secure structures that may have become unstable in the storm.
The task force does not know how long they will be assisting with the damage. However, they always prepare to be away for two weeks but that may change depending on the circumstances.
Castro said she believes seven teams will be reporting to the area affected by Hurricane Ida including teams from Tennessee and Virginia. She hopes people prepared the best they could including evacuating where it was suggested they do so.
“Our hope is that everyone heeded the warnings and prepared as best as they could to help themselves which in turn helps us and obviously our biggest fear is that this is going to cause a lot of devastation to a lot of people and we never want to see that happen,” said Castro.