TN Task Force One sits ready to help victims of Hurricane Irma

(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - After its recent return from Houston where help was needed after Hurricane Harvey, Tennessee Task Force One is already back in action and ready to help those affected by Hurricane Irma.

Eighty responders were deployed, including firefighters, doctors, engineers, and canine handlers. They are stationed at a base in Mason, Georgia, where they will be on standby to help anyone who needs it.

"We passed a solid line of traffic going north as we were coming down, for miles," Tennessee Task Force One Deputy Chief Dale Lock said. "The whole state of Georgia was nothing but a traffic flow going the other way."

Tennessee Task Force One will be responsible for wide-area searches and swift water rescues in Florida.

"We're anticipating anything when we go out the door, you never know," Memphis Fire Department Chief James Harvell said.

This search and rescue team saved more than 1,300 people in Houston. After that experience, they are even more prepared now.

"We carry canines with us that can detect live persons and we're also taking HR canines, which are human remain canines that can detect deceased individuals," Chief Harvell added. "We are taking with us Memphis Fire's hydro truck, which is a mechanical vehicle that's amphibious. It can go on land or in water."

"We did beef up our water rescue efforts a little bit, because we did do some water rescues down there, so we actually brought a couple more boats," Lock said.

The length of their tour of duty for Hurricane Irma is uncertain.

"The only thing we can ask for is continued prayers and support," MFD Chief Colin Burress said.

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