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[Photo Provided/Indiana DHS District 1. Photo shows Task Force personnel and equipment at staging area in Crown Point before heading to Indianapolis]
News release courtesy Micah Bell, Engineer/EMT, South Haven Fire Department, Public Information Officer, IDHS District 1:
Ambulances and nine personnel from Northwest Indiana are enroute to the east coast to provide assistance should Hurricane Sandy overwhelm local responders. The ambulances are deploying as part of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security District 1 Task Force.
Four ambulances, each with 2 EMS personnel as well as a Strike Team Leader will travel to Indianapolis to meet up with another team from the Indiana DHS District 6 Task Force of East Central Indiana. Ambulances from Crown Point Fire-Rescue, Lakes of the Four Seasons Fire Force, St John Fire Department and Superior Ambulance make up the team. The ambulance strike teams are deploying from Indiana to New Jersey as part of a state-to-state Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) request. EMAC requests allow for states to request public safety assistance from other states in case of natural disaster or other emergency.
The Indiana contingent is expected to assistance evacuations of medical facilities and to provide emergency medical services support to augment local responders in preparation for Hurricane Sandy reaching landfall along New Jersey’s coastline.
The State of Indiana is made of 10 Homeland Security Districts, with each district supporting a team of both paid and volunteer professionals trained to respond within their own district, across the State of Indiana and to other states as needed to provide emergency response, management and mitigation assistance. The Indiana District 1 task force is made up of over 200 responders from Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, and Newton counties. The Task Force was previously deployed was to the March, 2012 southern Indiana tornadoes in Clark and Washington Counties.
For more information on Indiana Department of Homeland Security District Task Forces and how to prepare for a disaster, go to www.in.gov/dhs .