Missouri task force members help in Irma rescue efforts

2 months 1 week 4 days ago Tuesday, September 12 2017 Sep 12, 2017 Tuesday, September 12, 2017 2:03:00 PM CDT September 12, 2017 in News
By: Matt Schmittdiel, KOMU 8 Reporter
Courtesy: Boone County Fire Protection District

COLUMBIA - Some of Missouri's elite first responders are once again returning to hurricane recovery efforts, but this time for Hurricane Irma.

Missouri Task Force 1 spent 13 days helping in the relief and rescue efforts for Hurricane Harvey. Now, 12 members out of the original 47 responders are spread out among the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Florida, and Georgia. 

Part of the the group is the Incident Support Team, which is in charge of managing all of Missouri Task Force 1's assets for Hurricane Irma, while the other group is out on search and recovery missions. 

Assistant Chief of the Boone County Fire Protection District Gale Blomenkamp said the Human Remain Detection (HRD) dogs were at St.Thomas Tuesday performing searches for victims in either destroyed or partially destroyed buildings.

"The group is looking for dead victims unfortunately, it’s just one of those things that is part of a disaster. So HRD is really kind of new in the URS [urban search and rescue] world so to speak," Blomenkamp said. 

Blomenkamp said the biggest challenge that is different from Hurricane Harvey versus Hurricane Irma is access to the affected areas.

"We got people in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. John, and to get those members and get those assets onto those islands is difficult because airports aren’t there or they are not open. You are trying to find boats you are trying to fly members and their equipment onto these islands to do some work," Blomenkamp said. “That takes a huge coordinated effort to make that happen."

Missouri Task Force 1 is part of the national response system that is made up of 28 teams across the country. 15 teams are currently deployed in rescue efforts. Even though Missouri was not deployed as a task force, Blomenkamp said there are a lot Missouri members in key positions working Hurricane Irma.

"We sent a member down Monday with a different task force as part of the USR specialist, down in the Keys. The Florida Keys are being searched now, so he is helping coordinate efforts down there," Blomenkamp said.

    The task force is working hand-in-hand with locals and Blomenkamp said mid-Missouri people are not afraid to get their hands dirty and work side-by-side with the locals

      "Every disaster starts local and every disaster is going to end at the local level, so we are at that transition point where we are trying to assist them and get as much work done as quickly as possible," Blomenkamp said.

      More News

      Grid
      List
      FORT LEONARD WOOD - Soldiers attending 787th Military Police Battalion for Military Police One Station Unit Training enjoy a traditional... More >>
      8 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 8:45:00 PM CST November 23, 2017 in News
      COLUMBIA - Columbia Parks and Recreation had big plans in mind when it first started building a championship level disc... More >>
      9 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 7:49:00 PM CST November 23, 2017 in News
      COLUMBIA – Shoppers put down their forks and picked up their wallets as Black Friday deals ran into Thanksgiving. ... More >>
      9 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 7:39:00 PM CST November 23, 2017 in News
      COLUMBIA - Volunteers, young and old, served food to hundreds of people for Almeta Crayton’s Everybody Eats 20th Annual Thanksgiving... More >>
      14 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 2:50:00 PM CST November 23, 2017 in News
      MEXICO - A 34-year-old man died Thursday morning after he crashed his vehicle. Omar Guadencio Cruz-Martinez, of Mexico, Missouri,... More >>
      16 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 12:47:42 PM CST November 23, 2017 in News
      BOONE COUNTY - The Boone County Sheriff's Department confirmed a pedestrian died after being struck by a car on Wednesday... More >>
      16 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 12:19:00 PM CST November 23, 2017 in News
      COLUMBIA - There are school choirs, church choirs, and mixed choirs, but now there is the opportunity to join a... More >>
      17 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 11:57:00 AM CST November 23, 2017 in News
      BOONVILLE - The breeding home of the Budweiser Clydesdales, Warm Springs Ranch, is hosting its inaugural Holiday Lights Festival starting... More >>
      18 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 10:39:00 AM CST November 23, 2017 in News
      COLE COUNTY - The Cole County Sheriff's Department said it is investigating a shooting that happened Wednesday night. ... More >>
      1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 9:58:20 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
      COLUMBIA - Missouri basketball star Michael Porter Jr. is recovering after undergoing surgery in Dallas Tuesday. MU said he will... More >>
      1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 6:34:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
      BARNETT, Mo - A Morgan County detective is apologizing after shooting and killing a family's dog. He was attempting... More >>
      1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 5:35:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
      COLUMBIA - On Wednesday, Columbia police released photos of an October armed robbery at Dash Liquor. On October 29,... More >>
      1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 5:01:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
      JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Highway Patrol is joining the fight against opioids. The drug has caused a nationwide crisis,... More >>
      1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 4:27:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
      COLUMBIA - A Columbia man involved in a deadly shooting in May has been indicted by a federal grand jury... More >>
      1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 4:04:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
      JEFFERSON CITY – With Thanksgiving comes a lot more traffic on the roads. In fact, according to AAA there will... More >>
      1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 2:14:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
      JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley sent a letter to Uber on Wednesday demanding the rideshare take immediate... More >>
      1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 1:51:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
      COLUMBIA - City Council voted 4-2 on Monday to postpone a preliminary plat for Columbia Public Schools’ new middle school... More >>
      1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 11:03:00 AM CST November 22, 2017 in News
      COLUMBIA - A Boone County judge approved a change of venue request for a man accused in a deadly October... More >>
      1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 10:56:00 AM CST November 22, 2017 in News
      Columbia, MO
      Broken Clouds 41°
      5am 39°
      6am 40°
      7am 40°
      8am 42°

      Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

      Coming Up Next

      5:00a
      KOMU 8 News Today
      6:00a
      KOMU 8 News Today
      7:00a
      Today
      5:00a
      Paid Program
      5:30a
      Paid Program
      6:00a
      Page Six TV

      Tonight's Schedule

      7:00p
      Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
      7:30p
      Trolls Holiday Special
      8:00p
      Dateline NBC
      7:00p
      iHeartRadio Music Festival, Night 2
      9:00p
      KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
      9:30p
      Seinfeld