Vermont Water Rescue Team Deploys To Texas

The Sedgwick County Fire Department says four firefighters from Sedgwick County Fire District 1 are deploying with area firefighters from Task Force 5, a joint effort coordinated by the State Fire Marshal.

Vancouver has a search and rescue team similar to the one in Texas - it's known as the Canada Task Force 1 (CANTF-1), or the Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) task force.

The state of Texas has requested that volunteers do not self-deploy, because people unexpectedly showing up in impacted communities will create an added burden for working first responders, according to Fairfax County, which published a guide to helping Harvey survivors on its government website.

The state's swift water rescue program is organized by North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM) which supports the teams with training and funding. "Please continue to pray for the people in the Houston and surrounding areas of Texas".

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It is unclear how long the VFRS members will be in Texas, but Gormick says it'll depend on how many operational periods this crisis will last for. Fire department teams also are deployed for 14 days. The team left for Texas Thursday to help with evacuations and rescue missions in the severe flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

"Vermont benefited greatly six years ago right now from EMAC when we brought in resources to help with the debris removal, road fix and all sorts of areas where we just did not have the resources in state", Herrick said.

The team is bringing five rescue boats and a logistics trailer with them to Texas, Cannon said.

Ryan said Tuesday the team was initially diverted by federal authorities to San Antonio for staging until a decision could be made on where to send them.

  • Sonia Alvarado