Pennsylvania’s Task Force One ready to assist with Hurricane Ida rescue efforts

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(WHTM) — George Drees is Susquehanna Township’s Fire Marshall. He’s also a member of Pa.’s Task Force One. 80 members are down south to help with the rescue and clean-up.

“Pennsylvania Task Force One is in Birmingham, Alabama staged,” Drees said. “The next step is to be deployed into the Mississippi panhandle there to go into Louisiana. Right now we are in a waiting stage and while it’s frustrating, it’s somewhat comforting to know while we are staged, there are other assets from local as well as other state and federal partners that are engaging now.”

“Our area of operations will be determined search and rescue and evaluation of infrastructure,” Drees said.

Drees also responded to Hurricane Katrina. “it’s very similar to 2005 with Hurricane Katrina, what we saw when we went down there,” Drees said.

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“How long will your days be once you start working,” I asked. “In theory, 12-hour rotations. In reality, depending on the infrastructure we may have to go daylight to sundown,” Drees said.

Drees says other hazards they face include poisonous snakes, flesh-eating bacteria in floodwaters, alligators, fire ants, and more.

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