Vermont Swift Water Rescue Team deploying to hurricane zone

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Vermont Swift Water Rescue Team deploying to hurricane zone

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 10:30am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine A Vermont swift water rescue team is deploying to Texas to assist in the response to Hurricane Harvey.  Vermont Task Force 1 Swift Water Rescue Team will perform evacuations and rescues in flooded areas. The deployment is through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) at the request of the Texas Division of Emergency Management. The mission will last 12 days, including two days to drive each way between Vermont and Texas and eight days on ground in the hurricane zone.

Governor Scott recognizes members of VT Task Force #1 Swift Water Rescue Team in Colchester as they prepare to help those in Texas impacted by Hurricane Harvey. State photo.

Vermont Task Force 1 arrived in College Station, Texas late Friday night/early Saturday morning.  After some rest, the team has reported to the swift water rescue staging area and are awaiting assignment.  VEM will send updates periodically throughout the deployment.  

You can also access updates, photos, and video whenever possible on the USAR Task Force 1 Facebook page: or on Twitter: @VTUSARTF1 

Vermont Emergency Management will also post information to our Facebook page when possible: or on Twitter: @vemvt

“In the days and months after Tropical Storm Irene our friends from around the country eagerly came to our aid,” Governor Phil Scott said.  “In times of need there are no borders, we’re all united as Americans to help those in danger.  We’re proud to have a highly-trained team of responders like Vermont Task Force-1 to offer Texas during this trying time.”

Texas made a request for 100 swift water rescue teams through a nationwide Emergency Management Assistance Compact request. EMAC is a mutual aid agreement among states that streamlines deployment of special teams and other personnel, with all expenses being paid by the requesting state.

The responders heading for Texas are only a portion of Vermont’s swift water personnel, leaving sufficient coverage for the state should there be a need.

Guidance for Individuals Looking to Help

Vermont Emergency Management (VEM) issued guidance for individuals interested in helping, which can be found at Vermonters are urged to follow this guidance, which includes ensuring those interested in volunteering affiliate with an organization and do not self-deploy to the disaster.

“Vermonters always stand ready to help those in need, and even as we deploy our Swift Water Rescue Team today, I know many still want to do more,” said Gov. Scott. “VEM has offered some clear guidance on how to help in a way that maximizes the impact and keeps everyone safe, so we urge all to follow that guidance.”

What:                    Sendoff event with Governor Phil Scott, Vermont Emergency Management representatives, and other officials.

When:                  Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.

Where:                 Colchester Rescue – 687 Blakely Road, Colchester, Vt.

AccuWeather predicts Hurricane Harvey to be the most costly natural disaster in US history

Source: Governor 8.31.2017