Missouri Task Force returns home from Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in TX

Missouri Task Force returns home from Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in TX

HOUSTON, TX (KFVS) - Missouri Task Force 1, a search and rescue team based out of Boone County, Missouri, returned home from relief efforts in Texas.

The team was deployed to help in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

According to a Facebook post from the Boone County Fire Protection District, they were gone for 13 days total, rescued 376 people and numerous pets.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency activated the task force on Aug. 24. A team of 37 personnel and 10 ground support personnel arrived in San Antonio, Texas before Harvey made landfall.

"Our purpose of going to Texas is to assist the citizens in the impacted areas as needed. Whether it is water rescues, wide area searches, building collapses or humanitarian efforts our members are ready to go", said Task Force Leader Randy Sanders, who is leading this deployment.

Missouri Task Force 1 is one of 28 Urban Search and Rescue teams in the United States. The groups assist local emergency agencies during disaster response both in-state and out-of-state. All those involved in the Task Force have volunteered. During a federal deployment, the federal government pays personnel expenses.

Members of the team first responded to Robstown.

Then, they went to work in Rockport, just northeast of Corpus Christi. Responders took part in wide area searches and conducted welfare checks.

On Aug. 27, MO-TF1 was sent to Katy to assist with water rescues. Four members of the team went to College Station as part of the FEMA Incident Support Team.

The team then joined forces with House Fire Station #78, about 13 miles east of Katy. They had six boats in the water.

"Things are going real well at this point. We have a steady stream of boats coming and going and we continue to work side by side with private citizens and the Houston Fire Department. MO-TF1 has recorded 169 citizens and 11 animals evacuated and will continue as long as needed", said Task Force Leader Randy Sanders on Aug. 28.

According to a post by the Boone County Fire Protection District, members of MO-TF1 rescued 316 people, 35 pets, and gave instructions to 41 people who opted to shelter in place.

One of those rescued included saving a family from a home that was filling with Carbon Monoxide because a generator was running inside.

On Aug. 29, the MO-TF1 team was assigned to Houston Fire Department District 34 which is just northeast of downtown Houston. They anticipate they will continue rescue and evacuation working using all six boats.

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