Ohio Task Force 1 back home from Harvey, preparing for possible deployment to Florida

Posted at 5:48 PM, Sep 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-07 17:49:06-04

The members of Ohio Task Force 1 are back home and enjoying some much needed rest after a 12-day deployment to help out with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Texas. Euclid Fire Captain Chris Caimi was one of them.

We spoke with Capt. Caimi over FaceTime last week, and met with him Thursday now that he is home -- and he is already preparing for the next mission.

According to preliminary numbers, Ohio Task Force 1 traveled more than 3,000 miles and rescued at least 173 people and 40 animals.?

“Non-stop moving from neighborhood to neighborhood and helping whoever we could, so you don't think about it at the time,” said Capt. Caimi.

Their work in Texas is now done.

“The pictures don't tell the true story,” Capt. Caimi noted. “There was just so much rain, you know, driving jon boats through downtown streets that there's high rise office buildings next to you and you're going full speed down the road trying to get to a neighborhood to help somebody. It's just crazy. Nothing that you would ever expect to see.”

But as the members of the Task Force take a moment to catch their breath, they're now getting ready for their next mission.

“Depends on Hurricane Irma,” remarked Capt. Caimi. “It's projected to make landfall at least at a Category 4, maybe a 5, and we'll just wait and see if our team is called to assist.”

Team members like Capt. Caimi are rehabbing equipment and making sure they are packed up and fully prepared as soon as orders from FEMA come.

With Hurricane Irma now barreling toward Florida, they need to be ready to go at a moment’s notice.

“We can be called to come down there and help at any time,” explained Capt. Caimi.

As of now, Ohio Task Force 1 is on standby, but is expecting to be called to respond to Hurricane Irma. Eight Task Force teams from other states have already been deployed.