Illinois search team deployed to Louisiana to aid in rescue efforts

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Information provided by the Governor’s Office

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (August 30, 2021) – Governor JB Pritzker announced Monday that a 46-member Urban Search and Rescue Team, and the required mission equipment, will deploy to Louisiana to aid with water rescues caused by life threatening flash flooding and dangerous storm surges caused by Hurricane Ida. These first responders hail from the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) IL-Task Force 1 from northern Illinois and are made up of members from various fire departments throughout the state. The team will be deployed to the affected area for 16 days.

The Urban Search and Rescue teams work alongside local rescuers to conduct search, rescue, and recovery missions for humans and animals in flooded environments. In addition, the team is capable of providing on-the-spot emergency medical care, emergency transportation for medical necessities, and supports helicopter rescue operations in water environments.

“Illinois is ready to help our fellow Americans, and Hurricane Ida is doing untold damage in Louisiana,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This life-threatening storm is creating extremely dangerous conditions for residents who did not evacuate and Louisiana’s first responders. Illinois’ brave first responders are well-trained and will work alongside local rescue teams in the coming days to provide essential support for affected residents.”

The MABAS team will depart Monday morning from Wheeling after receiving event identification, mission, and safety briefings and mobilization assistance. This process ensures the accountability and readiness of personnel and state assets prior to departure. All costs associated with these deployments will be paid for by Louisiana.