“The Task Force is ready for the ‘go’ order,” task force program manager Mario Trevino said in a news release. “Our team is fully trained, our gear is loaded, and our trucks are ready to roll. If activated, our members would welcome the opportunity to be able to assist our neighbors in Colorado.”
The task force team, comprised of about 80 members from Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson and Clark County fire departments as well as engineers, paramedics, search and rescue specialists, K-9 teams, doctors and safety officers, could deploy to Colorado in four to six hours from notification by FEMA officials in Washington.
The team, which is conducting their annual collapsed structure training, was notified of the alert at 10:20 p.m. Thursday. Managers, logistics and communication members prepared equipment and vehicles overnight in case of deployment, according to city officials.
“We still have not heard back from FEMA,” Trevino said. “You’re on alert until they activate you or give you a stand down order. It could go for hours or even days.”
The alert is a request for assistance, not an order. The last time NV-TF1 was on alert was in 2010 for Hurricane Earl.
“We can accept it or not, but frankly that’s what we’re all about, doing missions like this” Trevino said. “We haven’t had an alert for a couple of years so this is a good shot of motivation for our people. It’s a nice reminder we need to be ready at all times.”
“It’s a very good indication that we need to be ready at a moments notice because disasters are unplanned, unpredictable,” he said.
NV-TF1 would join three other task forces in Colorado, including Colorado Task Force 1 in Lyons, Colo., where three people have died in flooding, and teams from Nebraska and Utah, which headed to Colorado Springs and would deploy from there. Another team from Missouri is also on alert to respond to the floods.
“The men and women of Nevada Task Force One not only do a great job of preparing to respond to emergencies nationwide,” Clark County Fire Chief Bertral Washington, who also serves as the sponsoring agency chief, said in a news release, “but they are also a valuable asset for the residents and visitors of Southern Nevada as well as throughout the state.”