ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix Fire task force packed, ready for call to help in Ian aftermath

Sep 29, 2022, 11:00 AM | Updated: 3:13 pm
(Phoenix Fire Department Photo) (Phoenix Fire Department Photo) (Phoenix Fire Department Photo) (Phoenix Fire Department Photo) (Phoenix Fire Department Photo)

PHOENIX – A task force of nearly 150 Phoenix firefighters is ready to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Florida, if the need arises.

One of 28 FEMA urban search-and-rescue teams, Phoenix-based Arizona Task Force 1 has two semitrucks, two box trucks and six boats to add to the response to the disaster in Florida.

“We are ready to deploy if called upon,” Phoenix Fire Department spokesperson Ali Pardi told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday, as the Category 4 hurricane and its 150-mph winds hurtled across a broad swath of Florida.

The Arizona team could assist in swift water rescue, digging through collapsed buildings and medical needs.

“We are updated with information letting us know the largest area of need,” Pardi said, “and we are prepared to provide any and all types of support.”

The team also has the equipment necessary to supply means of communication where there is no power.

Though downgraded to a tropical storm by Thursday morning, the National Hurricane Center said storm surge and flooding rains remained a threat as Ian crept across the Florida peninsula and emerged in the Atlantic Ocean.

Forecasters predicted a northward turn toward South Carolina, and a hurricane warning was issued for the state’s coastline.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Phoenix Fire task force packed, ready for call to help in Ian aftermath