OHIO — More than 80 members of Ohio Task Force 1 returned home late Thursday night after spending several days in Louisiana as a part of the cleanup effort following Hurricane Laura.
Despite the heat, humidity, long hours, little sleep and grueling conditions, members of Ohio Task Force 1 set out for Louisiana to lend their efforts after Hurricane Laura recently ripped through parts of the state. Adam Landis was one of two team leaders who headed up this mission which was his fifth deployment for Ohio Task Force 1.
84 individuals participated in this deployment each of them partitioned into groups based on their skill sets.
“Some of them are firefighters but not all of them. We have structural engineers, we have doctors, we have communication specialists that make up the entire team and each of them bring a unique skill set to their position on the team,” said Landis.
After arriving at their base of Lake Charles last week, Landis helped divide up the teams as a way to conquer or cover as much area as possible.
“You basically take 84 of those types of individuals and when they work together like that, they just make the entire team stronger, and it works out really well for the task that we are assigned to go down to situations like this,” Landis explained.
He said part of the importance of wide-area searches, beyond victim search and rescue, is being able to assist local, state and federal authorities in assessing the amount of damage.
In the days spent assisting in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura, Ohio Task Force 1 completed nearly 22,000 structural assessments, rescued 21 dogs, evacuated six people and two dogs from a nursing home and assisted six people while searching.
“It’s a very humbling experience because the type of people and the caliber on Ohio Task Force 1 is just very humbling and you look around the guys are just top notch,” Landis said.
The top notch team is now back at home, resting up and waiting until the next call for help inevitably comes.