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South Florida responders headed into the Caribbean

Posted at 9:53 PM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 06:35:08-04

MIAMI — Twenty-five South Florida responders are headed into the Caribbean to keep families safe.

As of Monday night, Scott Dean, City of Miami Fire Rescue assistant chief and now task force leader for Florida Task Force Two (FL-TF2) is on standby for a possible deployment to the Virgin Islands and eventually Puerto Rico in support of Tropical Storm Dorian.

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The federal team responds to a variety of disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, terrorist activities, and hazardous materials releases with a four-hour notice.

“Every storm is different – anything could potentially happen,” said Dean.“But we always try to be ready for whatever the circumstances that we might come across.”

FL-TF2 is a federal team comprised of first responders from Miami to Tampa. Dean says the 25 personnel on this rotation are comprised of people from Miami-Dade and Broward counties, but first responders from Palm Beach County and further north are “highly trained” technicians that could deploy next.

“We train year-round and our guys are elite – they’re the best of the best,” he said. “As soon as we hit the ground we can start whatever operation we need to start.”

They’re also prepared to be self-sufficient deploying with swift water rescue equipment, along with communications, logistical and hazmat equipment. Dean says the team will first head to the Virgin Islands to position a command post before arriving in Puerto Rico.

”We’ve deployed several times over the last 20 years but every storm is different and anything can potentially happen,” said Dean. “We always try to be ready for whatever the circumstances we might come across.”

The team is expected to deploy for 10 to 14 days, but the magnitude of the storm can add days or weeks to the deployment.