Las Vegas Sun

December 17, 2017

Currently: 51° — Complete forecast

Southern Nevada task force joins Harvey relief effort

A team of Southern Nevada emergency responders deployed for Texas on Monday to assist with rescue efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Nevada Task Force One — comprising volunteers from Las Vegas Fire and Rescue, North Las Vegas Fire Department, Henderson Fire Department, Clark County Fire Department, police officers and local civilians — was to be utilized for its expertise in swift-water rescues, according to Timothy Szymanski, Las Vegas Fire and Rescue spokesman.

Every fire department in Southern Nevada is trained in swift-water rescues because of flooding that happens during monsoon season, he said.

Task force members bring their own gear in case there's no equipment available at the scene, he said.

“They’re fully stocked to hit the ground running,” Szymanski said.

The Nevada Task Force One team has been deployed to events like 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Gustav, and more recently to flooding near Reno, according to the Clark County Fire Department’s Facebook page.

“The pictures and video of the devastation in Texas throughout the weekend have shaken our country, but I’m heartened by the assistance being rendered by so many, including our first responders now en route to help in the region,” Mayor Carolyn Goodman said in a statement. “We hold the people of Texas in our prayers.”

The task force is one of 28 Urban Search and Rescue teams throughout the United States to aid in such catastrophic events.

The teams are funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.