UPDATE @ 11:45 a.m. (Sept. 17):
After receiving several missions the two Ohio Task Force 1 teams stationed in the Kinston, North Carolina area are awaiting their next orders, according to a spokesman for the group.
The team is expecting additional flooding over the next day or so where they are stationed, so additional missions are possible.
The 34 members of the two teams don’t know yet when they may return home, the spokesman said.
Two other members of the task force are working directly with FEMA on the agencies response to Florence.
UPDATE @ 11:32 a.m. (Sept. 13):
The two Ohio Task Force 1 teams in North Carolina are pairing up and are positioned in Lenoir County, which is located north of Wilmington. The team has conducted several missions that help familiarize themselves with the area.
The teams will be working with the Lenoir County EMA.
The team consists of firefighters from Dayton, Huber Heights, Clayton, Xenia, Beavercreek, Fairborn, Liberty Twp., Mason, Piqua and other Ohio cities.
UPDATE @ 10:05 p.m. (Sept. 11): A second Ohio Task Force 1 team has been given an order to head to Raleigh, N.C., organization officials said.
This is the second 16-member Water Rescue Team to be activated in as many days. This second team is scheduled to leave the task force’s Kettering headquarters at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Members of an Ohio Task Force 1 team have departed from their Kettering headquarters and are on the way to Kinston, N.C., in preparation for landfall from Hurricane Florence.
Monday night, the smaller 16-person team called a “Water Rescue Package” was activated and assigned to North Carolina in anticipation for the major hurricane, Phil Sinewe, Public Information Officer for Ohio Task Force 1 said Tuesday.
“The best way to think of (the Water Rescue Package) is a much quicker water strike team,” Sinewe said.
The team will include a water rescue manager, two water rescue squad officers, four boat operators, five water rescue specialists, logistics and medical specialists and two support specialists.
The crew dispatched to North Carolina is smaller than a typical “Type 1” team which would consist of 80 members, Sinewe said.
While the WRP is the only team currently requested from Ohio Task Force 1 to respond, the task force is preparing for the possibility of another WRP or a full Type 1 team that could be dispatched to areas impacted by Hurricane Florence, Sinewe said.
Any Ohio Task Force 1 team deployed enters a community completely self-sufficient, Sinewe said.
“Even from a food point-of-view, the team will feed themselves so they are not a burden to any of the places we are helping,” Sinewe said.
This is the earliest Ohio Task Force 1 has been deployed ahead of a storm, according to Sinewe. It will take the 16-member team about two days to train, rest, and get ready before the storm makes landfall.
“This is what we train for and we are glad to help,” Dayton Fire Department District Chief Adam Landis, a member of Ohio Task Force 1 said. “(Hurricane Florence) looks very similar to Hurricane Harvey last year. They want to get us in position early.”
We’ll continue to update this story as new details become available.