Central Arkansas crews head to Texas to help recovery efforts

Arkansas Task Force One heads to Texas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) --  As rescue and recovery efforts continue in Texas, several crews from Central Arkansas headed south to help the victims of Harvey.

Loaded up and ready to roll, members of Arkansas' Task Force One headed to Texas to provide search and rescue help to the Beaumont/Port Arthur area. Pulaski County Emergency Management Director Andy Traffanstedt said loaded with supplies and boats, Arkansas Task Force 1 is aiding recovery efforts after the storm.

"We've sent two water strike force components, basically 18 personal per strike team.  A total of 37 going down there, eight boats, two equipment trailers, and ten vehicles," he said.

In addition to the 37 first responders, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission spokesperson Trey Reid said their agency also sent more than a dozen wildlife officers.

"Game and Fish wise we have 28 officers and 12 boats," Reid said.

Before heading out, they make one last check of gear and a final briefing of the mission. The service they provide is critical according to Traffanstedt.

"Are trained for the disaster, they're trained for the heavy rescue incidents that most fire departments are not trained to handle.  We've gone to the tornado responses in Mayflower and Vilonia," Traffanstedt said. "Be working around the clock, we've been told in Beaumont because of the life-safety issues down there."

Traffanstedt said their main goal is to help those dealing with the storm in any way possible. At last check Wednesday evening, the teams had just arrived and were immediately putting boats in the water. They expect to be there seven to ten days, maybe longer.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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