Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Virginia Task Force 1 Activated

News Release 11-63
Date: August 26, 2011

Virginia Task Force 1 Activated
Virginia Task Force 1 (VATF-1), Fairfax County's urban search and rescue team was activated this morning by the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, to assist in the response to the impending landfall of Hurricane Irene. The task force will consist of 76 members and four search canines, and will depart from the Training Academy, 4600 West Ox Road, Fairfax, Virginia, at approximately noon today and stage near Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The self-contained heavy task force will consist of technical search and rescue specialists, structural engineers, physicians, paramedics, search canines, and communications and planning specialists.

Virginia Task Force 1 last deployed to Japan in response to the devastating earthquake in March of 2011.

Additionally, as part of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, the team maintains a constant operational readiness, and is a local resource for the residents of Fairfax County.

Note: Federal government pays for most costs and expenses incurred by VATF-1 when activated or when participating in training. All training, equipment, supplies, and personnel are paid for by the federal government on a regular basis. Additionally, when firefighters and members are deployed, there is no loss in emergency service or response to county residents, as minimum staffing continues for all emergency apparatus for all stations within the county.