Nevada Search & Rescue Team Reports for Duty in Colorado
Nevada Task Force 1 (NV-TF1) is assisting with evacuations and search and rescue operations in flood-ravaged Colorado.
The 80-person team is comprised of members from the Clark County, Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas fire departments, as well as members from multiple other disciplines. The team received a mobilization order Saturday evening, Sept. 14, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Team members reported for duty Saturday night at the task force’s local headquarters to gather equipment, receive medical exams and a briefing about the incident. As part of the activation, task force members are sworn in as federal officers. FEMA pays the costs associated with task force deployments.
“Our Nevada Task Force members are on the ground in Colorado assisting with rescue and response efforts,” said Program Manager Mario Trevino. “They are motivated to use their skills and equipment to help our neighbors during this difficult time.”
Task force members departed the valley early Sunday morning by ground. Their caravan to Colorado included three 18-wheelers, two cargo trucks, two busses, three support vehicles, four 16-foot boats with outboard motors, ATVs and 50,000 pounds of gear and equipment. The group arrived in Colorado Sunday afternoon and has been assigned to the Loveland area.
Today, 45 members of the task force were working with the Colorado National Guard on evacuations and search and rescue operations. The remaining personnel are establishing a base camp, setting up a satellite communications system, and providing for the needs of the task force during their deployment. Members include paramedics, structural engineers, communications specialists, hazardous materials experts, logistical technicians, doctors, and K-9 teams.
Task force members normally work 12-hour shifts and then are off 12 hours for rest. It is currently unknown how long the deployment will last, but teams are normally prepared for a two-week mission. In the past, urban search and rescues teams have deployed for up to six weeks. NV-TF1 has responded to other catastrophes in the past including Hurricane Katrina, the September 11th attacks, and the Oklahoma City bombing.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark County is the nation’s 12th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to more than 2 million citizens and 43 million visitors a year. Included are the nation’s 8th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to almost 900,000 residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.