INDIANAPOLIS–70 members of Indiana Task Force One left early Friday morning for Maui to help with the emergency response effort from the wildfires in Hawaii.
This team will be joining two other members of the task force that are already in Maui. The group is made up of emergency responders from the Indianapolis Fire Department, Wayne Township Fire Department, along with others from Bargersville, Danville, Plainfield, and other fire departments across the state.
They flew to Maui from the Indianapolis International Airport. Indiana Task Force One Leader Jay Settergren says flying can make the logistics of this trip a challenge.
“When you fly, you have to pull everything off the plane and reconfigure it. Plus we’re also carrying hazardous materials like batteries and gasoline, so there are more regulations and you have to be careful,” said Settergren.
Normally, Task Force One is able to drive to their destination, but they have had to rent vehicles ahead of time so they have them for the mission.
“This is the time I’ve done a wildfire. I’ve done a multitude of other disasters, but not that,” said Settergren. He’s been going on missions like this for more than 30 years.
Settergren anticipates that they will be there at least 10 days.
“They tell us every time we do this that we’ll deploy anywhere from 10-14 days. It could be longer depending on how much we’re able to clear each day,” said Settergren.
Settegren says they also have a family support unit for the Task Force members who are heading to Hawaii.
“That unit will take care of any needs while they’re gone. The deployed members can call that unit and they will come mow the lawn, fix plumbing issues, take their kids to daycare, etc. The other families that stay back can help with that,” said Settergren.
The Red Cross is in the process of moving evacuees out of shelters and into transitional housing in Hawaii. More than 100 people have died because of the wildfires in Hawaii.
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