Phoenix Fire team arrives in Orlando for Irma response

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Phoenix Fire Dept.) (Source: Phoenix Fire Dept.)

A Phoenix firefighter team has arrived at Orlando Convention Center to assist with the Hurricane Irma response. Arizona Task Force One includes 160 members with more than 400 hours of specialized training to conduct different types of rescues. 

“Working with really a lot of heavy equipment,” says Capt. Larry Subervi. “Concrete saws and drills, breaching equipment, things to shore up buildings to make sure that if there’s a building collapse they can keep a building in place if they have to effect a rescue.”

About 80 members deployed to Texas to assist other FEMA crews with rescue and recovery efforts before they were asked Monday to leave San Antonio and head to Florida. The team took their time to rest and fit in some training activities.

“You could travel theoretically from San Antonio to Orlando in a day, but they did it in three days,” says Subervi. “That way during the travel they get some rest. They have three semi trucks full of equipment with them. They pull the equipment out to familiarize themselves with everything they’re going to be using.”

To allow the team to remain on hurricane relief, other firefighters including the 80 task force members still working in the Valley, are picking up days to maintain staffing levels here at home. Phoenix Fire can also call on other agencies for assistance thanks to mutual aid agreements.

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