PA Hurricane Ian Response Team Returns Home

After completing their two-week deployment to support response operations for hurricane Ian, members of Pennsylvania Task Force 1 have arrived home.

Pennsylvania State | On Wednesday, October 12, members of Pennsylvania Task Force 1 (PATF-1) arrived in Philadelphia, after completing their two-week deployment to support response operations for hurricane Ian in Florida.

Two members of PATF-1 were activated on September 17 as part of the Urban Search & Rescue Incident Support Team for Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico (LEARN MORE), but were later transferred to support response operations for Hurricane Ian and arrived in Miami on September 25. The PATF-1 team operated predominantly in the Fort Myers Beach area, where there they conducted broad area searches for survivors and human remains in one of the deadliest hurricanes in US history. Before returning home, they were stationed on Sanibel Island, doing the same search and rescue work.

On September 28, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) activated the 45-member Pennsylvania Task Force 1 for Hurricane Ian (LEARN MORE). PATF-1 was originally sent to Columbia, SC to stage for potential impacts from Hurricane Ian, but when it was realized that South Carolina did not need the support the team was transferred to Florida. Two additional support personnel from PATF-1 were activated on October 1, 2022. PATF-1 is sponsored by the Philadelphia Fire Department.

PATF-1 is one of 28 teams that are part of the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System and is a federal resource that can quickly be mobilized to deploy to incidents anywhere in the country. According to FEMA, The National Urban Search & Rescue Response System is a framework for organizing federal, state, and local partner emergency response teams as integrated federal disaster response task forces. The system’s 28 US&R task forces can be deployed by FEMA to a disaster area to assist in structural collapse rescue, or they may be pre-positioned when a major disaster threatens a community.