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Louisiana emergency crews headed to Florida to help

Posted: 11:57 AM, Oct 10, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-10 12:57:33-04

Louisiana emergency personnel are deploying to Florida to help with Hurricane Michael support missions.

The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is coordinating the assistance through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact system. That system offers assistance during governor-declared states of emergency or disasters through a responsive, straightforward system that allows states to send personnel, equipment, and commodities to assist with response and recovery efforts in other states.

The teams currently being deployed include five ambulance strike teams coordinated by the Louisiana Department of Health. The Louisiana Office of the State Fire Marshal is sending nearly 20 personnel with water and structural rescue assets. Those groups will pair up with about 75 firefighters and medics from the state’s Urban Search and Rescue taskforces. Louisiana Taskforce 1 (New Orleans) is providing 25 personnel. Louisiana Taskforce 2 (Baton Rouge) is providing 35 personnel. Regional Response Team 6 (Pineville/Alexandria) is sending 5 personnel and RRT 8 (Monroe area) is sending 12 personnel to Florida.

Eighteen boats, one K-9 team, 4 medical specialists with 2 ambulances are included with those teams. Florida has also requested helicopter search and rescue support. A helicopter and support team from the Louisiana National Guard is on standby to answer that call once the storm moves out of the region and the conditions improve to the point where that type of work can begin.

“First and foremost our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Florida and everyone who may be impacted by this storm,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “Louisiana has already deployed emergency response teams and equipment and stands ready to supply any additional assistance that may be needed. The people of Florida have certainly been there for Louisiana during our time of responding to disasters, and we will certainly be there to provide whatever help we can.”

“GOHSEP will continue to review and fill additional requests received from Florida and any other states potentially impacted by Hurricane Michael,” said GOHSEP Director Jim Waskom. “Louisiana is known as one of the leaders in coordination for support. We always stand ready to help our emergency management partners facing an emergency. Our thoughts and prayers are with those in Hurricane Michael’s path and the first responders working to keep everyone safe.”

Deploying resources through support system leverages federal grant dollars (such as the State Homeland Security Grant Program and the Emergency Management Performance Grant invested in state and local emergency management resource capabilities.