Meet the real-life NJ heroes responding to the Florida building collapse

ByMiguel Amaya Localish logo
Friday, July 9, 2021
NJ real-life heroes respond to Florida building collapse
New Jersey's Task Force One is one of the 28 teams responding to the Florida building collapse.

SURFSIDE, Florida -- The collapse of the Champlain Towers South brought together an army of heroes determined to assist with what is now an excruciating recovery mission.

Searching through the mountain of concrete and debris, you will find New Jersey's Task Force One, one of 28 FEMA Urban Search and Rescue teams deployed to assist in Surfside, Florida.

"We have provided Florida with the best of the best our state has to offer in the search and rescue world," said Kevin Morrissey, program manager of the New Jersey Task Force One, known as NJ-TF1.

Their extensive training as well as their experience responding to disasters like 9/11 has prepared them for most any kind of crisis.

Related: World Central Kitchen is feeding Florida building collapse rescue teams

The NJ-TF1, which is deployed and reimbursed by FEMA, is equipped with technical search cameras, acoustical listening devices, lifting and reaching equipment, as well as food, water, medical supplies, and canine supplies.

The task force, which was incorporated into the federal system in September 2016, has over 280 members, which include law enforcement officers, firefighters, doctors, engineers, and canine search specialists.

Despite the challenging environment in Florida, the NJ-TF1 is continuing to assist in every way possible as families seek closure.

"I can tell you our folks won't give up and we'll just continue the mission no matter what it is to bring peace to everybody," Morrissey said.


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