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Indiana Task Force 1 deploys to South Florida

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana Task Force 1 left Indianapolis on Friday afternoon to head to Florida and prepare to help ahead of Hurricane Dorian.

Eighty-five members of the team will be in Florida on standby ready to respond if conditions get worse ahead of the storm.

Indiana Task Force 1 told News 8 they’re unsure where they’ll be stationed, but they believe it will be close to Miami. The team said they have to be flexible and ready for when duty calls.

Rescue team manager Steven Frye said he’s been deployed more than 10 times. He left behind his wife and four kids to help other families who are preparing for the storm.

“My oldest has a football game tonight and I’m not gonna get to see so it’s hard putting life on hold,” Frye said.

Frye works at the Carmel Fire Department and said he feels privileged to be called on during an emergency, despite being away from home during the Labor Day holiday weekend.

“We don’t go down there dreading the work. We actually look forward to seeing what you’re capable of and testing yourself against the environment and proving that you’re training and skills have paid off,” Frye said.

Indiana Task Force 1 is made up of volunteers who work as firefighters, police officers, nurses, doctors and K-9 teams across the state.

“We have concrete saws, we have breaching equipment that can bust up the concrete, we have cutters that will cut through rebar and then we also carry some light hand tools to go into light frame construction, houses, and apartments,” said Tom Neal, program manager and division chief of the Indianapolis Fire Department.

The team also traveled with camera and listening devices to hear and see those who may be trapped during the hurricane. Volunteers said there can be some challenges during deployments.

“I’ve been afraid of some things,” said Frye. “Lightning really, stuff like that, alligators, snakes.”

“Most of the highways are gonna be jampacked with outflow and here we are trying to get into southern Florida driving, so traffic sometimes is a huge issue for us,” Neal said.

However, it never stops them from being ready to help save lives.

“We’re kind of the ones who are there as the storm happens to get them from tragedy to recovery,” Frye said.