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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s been a busy start to hurricane season for Pennsylvania Task Force 1. They just returned home to Philly from a three-week stint in South Carolina helping with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
Tuesday night, the 45 member crew left Philly again in a convoy of trucks. They’re headed to Maxwell Air Force base in Montgomery, Alabama in anticipation of Hurricane Michael. They will take part in search and rescue efforts.
“The hardest part is always leaving your family, that’s the hardest part it,” said Gabriel Salas, a rescue specialist.
“That’s a testament to the folks on this task force. They understand it’s bigger than just themselves. It’s helping folks who are in need,” added Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy of Pennsylvania Task Force 1.
The trucks are filled with food and equipment: Everything from boats, to batteries, to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and a K-9 named Star.
“When she’s working she has full control, she’s great, she’s a good dog. But she’s a little rambunctious when she’s not,” said Amos Hess, a K-9 search specialist.
The Philadelphia Fire Department sponsors Pennsylvania Task Force One. The task force is also one of 28 federal urban search-and-rescue teams overseen by FEMA.