As Hurricane Dorian gains strength, local rescue teams depart for Florida to lend aid

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Maryland Task Force One will bring some 20 vehicles to Florida to assist in Hurricane Dorian efforts.

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Members of Maryland Task Force One prepare to leave for Florida.

Some 85 personnel, as well as six dogs, will head to Florida to assist with Hurricane Dorian.

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Virginia Task Force One prepares to leave to help with Hurricane Dorian rescue efforts.

virginia task force one
FEMA has activated Virginia Task Force One to provide assistance toward Hurricane Dorian operations.

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Maryland Task Force One is heading to Florida for Hurricane Dorian assistance.

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Rescue teams from Maryland and Virginia fire and rescue departments have been activated to provide support and resources to areas affected by Hurricane Dorian.

The hurricane was upgraded to a Category 4 on Friday night.

Fairfax County-based Virginia Task Force One and Montgomery County-based Maryland Task Force One were activated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday.

Sixteen out of 28 FEMA teams across the country are heading to Florida, said Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer.

Maryland Task Force One is sending about 85 people, including doctors and structural engineers, along with six dogs and 20 vehicles.

Those vehicles include tractor trailers, large box trucks, pickups, all-terrain vehicles, boats, motor coaches and passenger vans, said Scott Goldstein, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service chief.

They will be deployed for 10 to 14 days, and they are trained in heavy concrete rescue, as well as lightweight collapse rescue.

Maryland Task Force One is made up of members from fire departments in Montgomery, Howard and Prince George’s counties, as well as specialized civilian members.

“The opportunity to go out and help another community is what makes this the driving passion of all our first responders,” Goldstein said.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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