HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania Task Force 1 is a team of trained professionals that is routinely sent to the site of natural disasters all over the country. Witnessing some of the worst damage caused by Hurricane Ian, the task force quickly offered help.
High winds and storm surges from Hurricane Ian destroyed homes and decimated parts of the Florida coastline. More than 100 deaths were reported across the state, making it one of the deadliest in Florida history.
The same day the storm made landfall, Governor Tom Wolf announced that 45 members of Pa. Task Force 1 were on the way to help. The team was first sent to South Carolina, before heading farther south.
The brave men and women of Task Force 1 spent two weeks in Florida, supporting hurricane response efforts in the region. The team focused on the Fort Myers area, searching for survivors and human remains.
On Wednesday, Task Force 1 was welcomed home to Philadelphia.
Governor Wolf greeted them and applauded the group's efforts and service to the nation.
“We are grateful for their willingness to serve their neighbors in their time of need," said Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Randy Padfield.
Two members of Pennsylvania Task Force 1 have been working a lot longer than the rest. They were first sent to Puerto Rico in response to Hurricane Fiona on Sep. 17th, before they were transferred to the Hurricane Ian response team.