By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia firefighters are part of a task force helping out a neighboring state in distress, following the hurricane that rampaged through harder hit areas, including New York.

When disasters strike, the Federal Emergency Management Agency deploys task forces within six hours to locate victims and assist in recovery operations.

Sixty Philadelphia firefighters joined PA Task Force 1, which was deployed to New Jersey, and then diverted to coastal Long Island.

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers says these first responders consistently go to the front lines when America needs them most.

“It’s not unlike September 11th,” Ayers says. “PA Task Force 1 was the first team on the scene, beside New York, some of whom were killed in the 9/11 event.’

Ayers says they jumped in vehicles supplied by the Army, and then spread out in flooded neighborhoods.

“Six vehicles, high water vehicles, where they’re going through and searching for anyone that’s a victim,” he says.

The firefighters are Special Ops trained to do swift water, high-angle, collapse and confined space rescues.

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