Task force from Miami heads to Carolinas to deliver hazmat equipment

MIAMI (WSVN) - South Florida continued to send more support to the Carolinas, as Hurricane Florence bore down on the region.

Task Force 2, partially housed within City of Miami Fire Rescue, got called up late Thursday night.

”They’ve been activated to deploy, and they were pre-staged with the other crews in Columbia, South Carolina,” said Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll.

This task force is made up of critical equipment to help in dangerous situations where hazardous materials pose a threat.

”There’s a lot of the floodwaters that are contaminated. You have fuel in there, you have biohazardous waste, sewage,” said Carroll, “so with rescuers maneuvering through all of that, they need to be … They need to be cleaned up.”

7News captured the task force’s 18-wheeler packed and ready to go. The equipment inside will be used to assist personnel who are already staging in Columbia to help after Florence moves through the region.

“This package contains — you have hazardous materials suits, you have biohazardous [materials] suits,” said Carroll. “You also have meters that allow us to address any radiological issue, and then other equipment that also allows us to fill air bottles.”

An air compressor here will provide air for tanks crucial in the search and rescue process.

This team is one of seven located throughout the country that is capable of providing necessary resources to multiple search and rescue teams.

Dozens of personnel from South Florida agencies are already in Columbia after they got called up earlier this week. They will assist with search and rescue operations on the ground and on the water in the days after the storm.

The task forces are currently taking stock of supplies and planning routes around the clock.

”We are preparing for when the storm does hit. It is approaching; it’s near the coast,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Firefighter Maggie Castro with Task Force 1. “We’ve been training and getting all our equipment ready and in top form so that once the storm does pass, we’re ready to respond wherever people need us.”

Task Force 2 left Miami just after 10 p.m. They are expected to arrive in Columbia Friday afternoon.

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