HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Oct. 12 Governor Wolf welcomed home members of the Pennsylvania Task Force 1 (PATF-1) from their two-week deployment to help communities ravaged by Hurricane Ian.

The members of PATF-1 were deployed to Florida for two weeks to help support communities that were ravaged by Hurricane Ian. Governor Wolf thanked them for their heroic efforts when members arrived in Philadelphia.

“Hurricane Ian devastated many communities in Florida but even before the historic storm made landfall, Pennsylvania stood ready and willing to assist. PA Task Force 1 answered that call,” Gov. Wolf said. “On behalf of all Pennsylvanians, I want to express my gratitude to these selfless individuals who dedicate themselves to helping others in need and even risk their own safety to support critical operations following natural disasters. I also thank their loved ones for their sacrifice while these heroes go and help others at a moment’s notice.” 

“It is reassuring to know that we have such a highly trained group of professionals who can respond to disasters here in Pennsylvania and across the nation,” said Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Randy Padfield. “We are grateful for their willingness to serve their neighbors in their time of need.”

Two members of the PATF-1 were activated back on September 17 as part of the Urban Search & Rescue Incident Support Team for Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico. They were both transferred to Hurricane Ian and arrived in Miami on September 25.

On September 28, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) activated the PATF-1, consisting of 45 members, to go to Hurricane Ian.

PATF-1 was sent to Columbia, South Carolina for potential impacts from Hurricane Ian. They were then transferred to Florida after they realized South Carolina didn’t need support. Two additional support personnel from PATF-1 were then sent on Oct. 1.

The PATF-1 team was active predominantly in the Fort Myers Beach area, where they conducted searches to look for survivors and human remains.