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Fire & Rescue Department
Nebraska Task Force 1 (NETF1)

Task Force Responses

 

In support of FEMA, Task Force Team Members have served as part of the Federal Response Plan with the Incident Support Team (IST) and Fast Teams. These personnel have been utilized for:

• Hurricane Emily, 1993   Members in support
• Oklahoma City Bombing, 1995   Members in support
• Hurricane Opal, 1995   Full Task Force
• Hurricane Bertha, 1996   Members in support
• Atlanta Olympics, 1996   Members in support
• San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1996   Members in support
• DeBruce Grain, 1998   Full Task Force
• Oklahoma Tornado's, 1999   Members in support
• Pentagon, 2001   Members in support
• World Trade Centers, 2001   Full Task Force
• Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, 2002   Full Task Force
• Space Shuttle Columbia, 2003   Members in support
• Hurricane Francis 2004   Members in support
• Hurricane Katrina (Gulfport) 2005   Type III (Half the Task Force)
• Hurricane Katrina (New Orleans) 2005   Full Task Force
• Greensburg, KS Tornado 2007   Full Task Force
• Hurricane Dean 2007   Full Task Force
• Little Sioux, IA Tornado 2008   Members in support
• Hurricane Dolly (San Antonio, TX) 2008   Type III Team (Half the Task Force)
• Hurricane Gustave (Atlanta, GA) 2008   Type III Team (Half the Task Force)
• Hurricane Ike (Jacksonville, FL) 2008   Type III Team (Half the Task Force)
• Presidential Inauguration (Washington, DC) 2009   Members in support
• Haiti Eartquake 2010   Members in support
• Joplin, MO Tornado 2011   Members in support
Moore, OK Tornado 2013   Full Task Force
Colorado Flooding 2013   Full Task Force

Hurricane Opal Deployment Photos
On October 4th, 1995, FEMA activated the Task Force for Hurricane Opal. The 62 person task force mobilized and prepared for deployment by ground. The team assembled and was ready to travel in less than the 6 hour activation requirement of FEMA. As a result of an uncertain landfall site, and the danger of flying into a hurricane, FEMA directed Task Force Leadership to develop a ground transport plan. The Task Force traveled to Camp Shelby Mississippi by contracted bus and semi tractor trailer a 21 hour trip of 1026 miles. Upon their arrival, the Task Force was directed by FEMA to standby while storm damage assessment was underway. The Task Force was not sent into the affected area due to a lack of anticipated structural collapse. The team was deactivated and returned to Lincoln, demonstrating their ability to mobilize, assembly, and deploy over a great distance.

Hurricane Bertha Alert
On July 8th, 1996, the Lincoln Fire Department Task Force was placed on alert for possible deployment to Hurricane Bertha. This alert was later canceled as a result of a decreased threat.

Western Sugar Plant Explosion Photos
On July 22, 1996, a small contingent of search specialists were requested by the State of Nebraska to support local efforts in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. A sugar beet plant processing facility had suffered a massive explosion, that resulted in 15 injuries, and one worker reported missing. Members of the Task Force assisted local rescuers to conduct search operations.

DeBruce Grain Elevator Explosion Photos
On June 8th, 1998, the Lincoln Fire Department Task Force was activated to respond to the DeBruce Grain Elevator Explosion and Collapse in Sedgwick County Kansas. The task force was en route within 4 1/2 hours of the FEMA activation. An advance recon team from the task force arrived on site, less than 12 hours after the incident onset. The task force began operations approximately 19 hours after the explosion, in search of four missing workers. Round the clock efforts for 4 1/2 days successfully recovered three of the workers who had perished. The 4th was not recovered, but presumed dead.

Oklahoma/Kansas Tornado's Photos
On May 3rd, 1999, multiple tornado's devastated parts of Kansas and Oklahoma. Members of the Task Force were requested to assist in victim location. A small contingent including a search team manager, and three canine search specialists were deployed. In addition, five other canine search specialists from other task forces responded to assist.

Pentagon
Shortly after 0845 CST on September 11 an aircraft struck one of the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. During the television coverage, a second aircraft struck the building and shortly after, a third aircraft had crashed into the Pentagon in Washington DC.

At 0906, moments after the assault on the Pentagon, Deputy Chief John Huff, received a page advising that the Incident Support Team (RED) had been activated by FEMA. Members of the RED team were informed that the Pentagon incident would be their assignment.

Click here to read John Huff's After Action Report

World Trade Centers Photos
The events of September 11, 2001 shocked the entire world. Nebraska Task Force 1 (NE-TF1) members watched the horror unfold as major news networks provided intense live coverage of the World Trade Center and Pentagon sites. Following the collapse at the World Trade Center NE-TF1 leadership recognized that an urban search and rescue mission was imminent and began deployment preparations. NE-TF1 was placed on alert September 11, 2001 and activated September 24, 2001. While on alert, team members kept abreast of the situation by monitoring national media, networking with peers from other deployed task forces, and participating in NE-TF1 briefings.

Upon arrival at the Javitts Center, NE-TF1 received orders from the Incident Support Team (IST) and performed as the rapid response unit for structural collapse assisting the New York City Fire Department. After completing the rapid response mission, NE-TF1 was reassigned to Ground Zero where the task force assisted with search operations. The task force demobilized, returned to Lincoln and participated in mandatory critical incident stress debriefings within 48 hours. The cache was rehabilitated and NE-TF1 returned to deployable status within 72 hours. One task force member was injured during the mission and is currently under doctor's care for a partial tear of the Achilles tendon.

2002 Winter Olympics
In February 2002, NE-TF1 was activated by FEMA to standby at the 2002 Winter Olympic games in Salt Lake City, Utah. The team departed on Sunday, February 10th and returned Sunday, Feburary 17th.

High Angle Recovery in Bassett, NE
On April 22, 2002 Lincoln Fire & Rescue personnel were contacted to assist in the rescue of a tower worker who was dangling by his safety lanyard approximately 1150 feet up the tower. The rescue became a body recovery as the worker received fatal injuries as a result of a failure of a cable used to hoist communications equipment up the tower. The effort took six hours to complete.

Columbia Space Shuttle Incident Search Effort
February 1, 2003 Three Canine teams were deployed to Houston, Texas to assist in the search efforts conducted as a result of the Columbia space shuttle incident. Click on title for more information.

Hurricane Francis
On August 31, 2004 FEMA activated members of the US&R system to assist with Hurricane Frances which was threatening Florida.

Click here to read more about Hurricane Francis.

Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 25, 2005 hitting most of Miami, Fl. Killing 11 people. Strengthening to category #5 (wind speed to 156+ mph and storm surge of 13 to 18 feet above normal) storm on August 28, 2005. Katrina came ashore near the Louisiana, Mississippi border on Monday August 29, 2005. On August 30th flooding from the hurricane caused the breach of two levees in New Orleans. Reports estimate that 80% of New Orleans was under 25 to 35 feet of water with thousands of occupants assumed to have drowned.

On August 29, 2005 NETF-1 was activated along with several other Urban Search & Rescue Task Forces at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA) to assist in the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Our original directive was to depart Lincoln, Nebraska within a 6 hr window (1500 hrs) for an approx. 26 hr driving trip to a military mobilization camp in Shelby, Mississippi.

Click here to read more about Hurricane Katrina - Deployment #1.
Click here to read more about Hurricane Katrina - Deployment #2.

Greensburg, KS Tornado
On Monday May 7, 2007 at 0845 hrs LF&R was advised by FEMA of a possible request from the state of Kansas for a US&R task force in the aftermath of the F5 torndao that struck Greensburg Kansas. The closest task force was NETF1, approximately 340 miles away. The initial page to all task force members to check for availablility was sent out at 0922. NETF1 recieved a verbal activation order from the FEMA US&R program office at 1027 hours, which resulted in a second page to all pre rostered members of the RED team directing them to report to the logistics center for deployment. Read More...

Hurricane Dean
On August 20, 2007 NE-TF1 deployed a Type I (80 person) task force and 80,000 lbs of emergency response equipment to Ft Worth, TX to stage in preparation for possible landfall of Hurricane Dean along the Texas gulf coast. NE-TF1 remained in pre-landfall staging mode for 36 hours until determination of the storm track put its landfall well into Mexico, sparing the United States of any affects of this Category 5 Hurricane. The task force returned to Lincoln late on the evening of August 22nd.

Canine Deployment to Little Sioux Iowa Tornado
At approximately 0130 hrs on June 12, 2008 the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency contacted NETF1 Program manager John Huff requesting canine resources to assist in the search for missing boy scouts after the tornado struck their camp. A very rapid response was requested by NEMA to supplement local efforts. NEMA also asked for an ETA for search canine. The program manager contacted Steve Dolezal Search Team Manager for NETF1 who contacted Patrick Morrissey, Jim McConnell, Tara Arndt and Mike Agnew. Patrick & Jim were available. The program manager also contacted Rick Klein to begin logistics & travel arrangements via a US&R TF vehicle. Chief Ford was contacted and authorized accepting the mission request from NEMA.

Canine Deployment to Joplin, MO Tornado
The request called for specifically trained and certified cadaver canines and specific support personnel and equipment. The request stated that the responders need to be self-sufficient and that local volunteers had been filling the need to feed responders. The request stated 2 personnel per canine was acceptable. In addition, the timeframe was 3-4 working periods. (Click title to read more.)


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