MO Task Force 1 on Colorado alert
Fri, 13 Sep 2013 21:17:47 GMT —
Members of Missouriâ??s search and rescue team are on standby as they wait to help with the massive flooding in Colorado.
Missouri Task Force 1 includes 80 firefighters and emergency workers with more than 100,000 pounds of equipment.
Earlier this morning, members of Missouri Task Force 1 were put on alert status which means they have permission to organize their 80 person team and their equipment as they prepare for a trip to Colorado.
When task force member Tammy Rounsavall first heard about the Colorado alert, she immediately started preparing equipment. Rounsavall is not on the list to go to Colorado. She is responsible for fine tuning all of the equipment before it heads out the door.
Rounsavall said, â??Iâ??m making sure if there is anything that needs to be charged that it is charged. I making sure that items that were taken off for charging or recalibration that we get those back in the trailers so that they are ready to go with boots on the ground and they can go to work.â??
Authorities report more than 3,000 people are missing or cut off from safety and more than 200 homes have been damaged or destroyed in Colorado. Past experiences at Hurricane Katrina and the Joplin tornado help task force members prepare for disasters like the flooding in Colorado.
Missouri Task Force 1 spokesman Gale Blomenkamp said, â??When we went to Joplin it was more of a wide area searching of light weight constructed buildings. This would be more in line with what Katrina was as far as the flooding.â??
Missouri Task Force 1 officials recently bought some additional rescue boats to help them with search and rescue in flooding conditions.
Blomenkamp said, â??We have zodiac boats. We have John boats. We have life preservers. We have wet suits. We dry suits. We have all of that type of rescue equipment that would loaded and enough to sustain any type of operation that we would be assigned.â??
Task force members would use tractor trailers, pick-up trucks and emergency vehicles to transport themselves and their equipment to Colorado.
Blomenkamp said, â??The ultimate goal is search and rescue and not search and recovery. If we are given that assignment of search and recovery, our people take that very seriously. In that case, we are not rescuing live victims but we are providing closure to the families who are going through a very, very tough time.â??
If they get the call, Blomenkamp said Missouriâ??s most experienced search and rescue team could stay up to 2 weeks in Colorado.
Missouri Task Force 1 is joined by Nevada Task Force 1 in the alert status.
Task forces from Nebraska and Utah are currently helping Colorado search and rescue teams.