West Chester firefighters join Texas rescue efforts
Two members of the West Chester Fire Department have been deployed to Texas with Ohio Task Force 1 to help those affected by flooding due to Hurricane Harvey.
Capt. Troy Bonfield, Risk Management Bureau, (pictured left) and career firefighter Trevor Frodge (right) were among 10 first responders from the Greater Cincinnati area called upon to perform search-and-rescue duties. A total of 49 Ohio first responders from throughout the state were deployed from Dayton in the early morning hours Aug. 25.
According to Facebook posts on the Ohio Task Force 1 (OHTF1) page, the team initially arrived in San Antonio at about 10 p.m. Friday before being moved to Robstown, Texas to assist task forces from Texas and Missouri. The team has also worked in the towns of Tivoli, Austwell and Katy, Texas where OHTF1 reportedly rescued more than 100 people from rising flood waters, including about 80 senior citizens at a nursing home, and freed a fire engine from underneath a collapsed station in its first few days of work.
OHTF1 is one of 28 urban search and rescue teams within FEMA’s National Urban Search & Rescue Response System. OHTF1 is made up of members from the private and public sectors, and includes career and part-time fire/ personnel, law enforcement officers, emergency medical and hospital personnel, structural engineers and other professionals.
Back home, Capt. Bonfield and Frodge are both stationed at West Chester Fire Headquarters (Station 71). There is no interruption to service for residents while they’re away because FEMA reimburses the department for the overtime worked by WCFD staff who pick up shifts in the OHTF1 members’ absence.
Follow along with updates by visiting the Ohio Task Force 1 Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OHTF1/.