Phoenix FD's search and rescue team deactivated by FEMA

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Fire Department’s Arizona Task Force 1 had prepared to board buses Wednesday night headed to New York to help with relief efforts following Hurricane Sandy.  However, their deployment was canceled at the last minute.
The call for help had come from FEMA, but officials worried it would take too long to arrive by ground, according to firefighters.

Arizona Task Force 1 is comprised of 80 individuals from the Phoenix Fire and Police Departments.

They’re no strangers to tackling difficult scenarios, as they’ve been called in to situations like Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

But while Arizona Task Force 1 won’t be making the trip east, there are some Arizona residents who will be traveling to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

APS will be sending resources to the East Coast to help bring power back to the many homes and businesses in need.

Retired psychologist Martha Iskyan will be traveling to New York as well to assist with the Red Cross with counseling and comforting Sandy’s many victims.

“They need somebody they can tell their story to, hold their hand, want to cry,” said Iskyan. “When people are in need, I would like to be there to help them.”