Investigation Looks At What Arizona Rescue Teams Do During Natural Disasters

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 - 3:40pm
Updated: Monday, February 19, 2018 - 3:53pm
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Last summer as natural disaster after natural disaster hit, 80 of the Phoenix Fire Department’s most skilled rescuers crisscrossed the country ready to help.

They were part of a national force of highly trained search and rescuers deployed to provide assistance after natural disasters.

But, a new investigation in The Arizona Republic shows they spent more time traveling and awaiting orders than they did actually affecting rescues.

Reporter Jason Pohl said when this Arizona Task Force 1 was deployed to Hurricane Harvey in Texas over the summer, it was such a monstrous storm that there was a lot of watching the weather and waiting to see what would happen.

That’s pretty typical of the FEMA task force system. They try to stage teams where they think they’ll be able to help most.

But when they got there, Pohl said the task force ended up doing a lot of waiting around and this isn’t just the story for the team from Arizona.

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