SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday a 46-member Urban Search and Rescue Team is on their way to Louisiana to help with water rescues caused by flash flooding and storm surges due to the impact of Hurricane Ida.
Officials said these first responders are from the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) IL-Task Force 1 from northern Illinois and are made up of members from various fire departments. The team will stay in the affected area for 16 days.
Officials also said the Urban Search and Rescue teams will work alongside local rescuers to conduct searches, rescues, and recovery missions for humans and animals. The team is capable of providing emergency medical care, emergency transportation for medical necessities and supports helicopter rescue operations in water environments.
“Illinois is ready to help our fellow Americans, and Hurricane Ida is doing untold damage in Louisiana,” said Gov. Pritzker. “This life-threatening storm is creating extremely dangerous conditions for residents who did not evacuate and Louisiana’s first responders. Illinois’ brave first responders are well-trained and will work alongside local rescue teams in the coming days to provide essential support for affected residents.”
The MABAS team left Monday morning from Wheeling after receiving event identification, mission and safety briefings and mobilization assistance. This process ensures the accountability and readiness of personnel and state assets before departure.