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City of Lincoln
Fire & Rescue Department
Nebraska Task Force 1 (NETF1)

Columbia Space Shuttle Search Effort


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Saturday, February 1, 2003

Lincoln Fire & Rescue Nebraska Task Force 1 has deployed 3 canine teams to Houston, Texas to assist in the search efforts conducted as a result of the Columbia space shuttle incident. Three NETF1 teams, Elaine Sawtell/Ditto from Springfield, Mo; Hershel McAlister/Max from outside St. Louis, Mo; and Amy Rising/Louie from Pine City, MN, will all arrive in Houston by 1100 hours February 4, 2003 where they will be met by FEMA US&R incident support team personnel to be transported into the affected area. The teams will be part of a larger contingent of 14 canine search teams from the US&R system that have been deployed to assist in the search efforts. The teams will be briefed on the search operations on Tuesday, February 4, 2003 and will start to perform search duties from Wednesday, February 5th thru Saturday, February 8th. The team accomplished their mission and was demobilized on February 14, 2003.

On March 13, 2003 NETF1 deployed 3 Task Force personnel to assist with the management of resources for debris recovery from the Space Shuttle Columbia. Search Team Manager Jim George, Rescue Squad Officer Jeff Hatcher, and Rescue Squad Officer Eric Jones were selected to deploy to assist the US Forest Service in Nacogdoches, Texas. These task force members will serve as Strike Team Leaders to manage 20 person search crews made up of mainly US Forest Service fire fighters including hot shot crews and smoke jumpers. The debris recovery efforts will take place over a wide area of desolate country in eastern Texas including national forest lands. Our task force members are scheduled to return on April 5, 2003.

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