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Indiana Task Force One in Louisiana to help with Hurricane Laura

Posted at 9:21 AM, Aug 27, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — Hoosiers are in Louisiana ready to help with the recovery from Hurricane Laura once its safe.

Indiana Task Force One is along the Gulf Coast and prepared to help those impacted by Hurricane Laura.

The team of 25 in Louisiana is specifically there to do water rescues in swift water and floodwaters.

The task force trains for around 20,000 hours a year to deploy in times of need just like this.

Jay Settergren, a safety officer with the team for more than two decades, says a lot goes through his mind during a deployment like this. But there is an additional hurdle with this one.

"I would say one of the things with this deployment is that we are basically deploying in the middle of a pandemic. We have never done that before," Settergren said. "FEMA has a COVID-response protocol and we have all been trained on that and we will respond with that in mind. And me being the Safety Officer on this team, my first priority is for our rescue members to make sure that they are safe and that they go home at the end of this."

The team says social distancing will be challenging since they will literally be pulling people out of the water at times. But, they are bringing face masks and bags to give to the people they rescue.

The team is made of mostly area firefighters. They expect they'll be deployed for about two weeks to assist with rescues and the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.