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Search & rescue, Salvation Army units deployed to Colo.

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Updated: 9/16/2013 5:57 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- Teams from Southern Nevada are headed to Colorado today to assist with flooding recovery efforts.

Nevada Task Force 1, an urban search & rescue team, left Las Vegas at 1:30 a.m. today to drive to Fort Collins, Colo., to assist with major flooding issues.

In addition, a four-member team from The Salvation Army will leave about 4 p.m. to head to Denver. It will be taking a mobile kitchen that can serve 600 meals and will be providing food and water service to victims and first responders.

The 80-person unit includes members from the Clark County, Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas fire departments, as well as members from multiple other disciplines.

"The team is driving heavy trucks in a convoy and it will take most of the day before they get to Fort Collins," said program manager Mario Trevino. "They will learn from officials there what their duties will be and the area they will be deployed."

FEMA officials put the task force on alert Friday that it could be called to Colorado.

Three other urban search & rescue teams have been deployed: Colorado Task Force 1 was activated as a state resource, and the Utah and Nebraska task forces were activated as federal resources.

The task forces comprise a portion of 28 specialized groups that are capable of responding to disasters anywhere in the country. Members received medical evaluations and a briefing on the flood situation on Saturday night.

"The men and women of Nevada Task Force One not only do a great job of preparing to respond to emergencies nationwide," said Clark County Fire Chief Bertral Washington, who also serves as the sponsoring agency chief, "But they are also a valuable asset for the residents and visitors of Southern Nevada as well as throughout the state."

NV-TF1 managers, communications and logistics team members reported to the program office overnight to prepare their cache of equipment and fleet of vehicles to deliver life-saving technical assistance to local first-responders.

“The Task Force is ready for the ‘go’ order,” said Trevino. “Our team is fully trained, our gear is loaded, and our trucks are ready to roll. If activated, our members would welcome the opportunity to be able to assist our neighbors in Colorado.

”Task Force 1 is comprised of 80 members from Clark County and other local agencies such as the Southern Nevada Operating Engineers.

Personnel include paramedics, search and rescue specialists, K-9 teams, doctors, structural engineers, HazMat specialists and communications and logistics specialists.

The team can respond by air or ground with very little notice.

Members have specialized training and tools, and can be self-sufficient at a disaster site for weeks, if necessary.

NV-TF1 has previously deployed to many natural and human-caused disasters in the past, including the 9-11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the Oklahoma City bombing.

A team from The Salvation Army of Southern Nevada will head to to Denver this afternoon  at about 4 p.m. They will be departing from the Henderson Corps, 830 E. Lake Mead Parkway.

The team will be led by Salvation Army Officer, Captain Julie Feist, Lake Havasu, Ariz., a veteran of several emergency disaster deployments. She will be accompanied by volunteers Tom Horn of Bullhead City, Mona Cullins from Lake Havasu, and Alan Robinson of Henderson. The team will be utilizing the Emergency Mobile Unit belonging to the Clark County Command, a mobile kitchen capable of preparing 600 or more meals at a time.

The Southern Nevada/Arizona team is part of a larger deployment which also includes teams from Santa Fe/Albuquerque, N.M., and Phoenix. The teams will be feeding and providing hydration to evacuees from the floods along with the first responders assisting with the floods in and around Denver and Boulder.

If you would like to make a donation to support the relief efforts in Colorado, please contact The Salvation Army at (702) 870-4430 to make a contribution or you may donate at www.salvationarmysouthernnevada.org.

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