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Hoosiers step up to help those in need in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian

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Posted at 6:44 PM, Sep 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-29 18:44:44-04

INDIANAPOLIS — From Lineman to Indiana Task Force 1, Hoosiers are stepping up to help those in need in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

“Today is the first day that we are trying to find the actual damage and find out where we need to start,” Matthew Burks said.

Burks has been a lineman for Duke Energy for the last six years and it’s a job that he may never quit.

“We have had a lot of wire that we needed to put up from trees that have fallen. Currently, right now we are driving from another transformer outage over here that probably has trees on lines again,” Burks said.

The Bloomington native and the father of four is in Tampa helping to restore power to those who went dark during the storm.

He isn't alone.

Susan Fife and her dog Batman are also Hoosiers who answered the call. They are a pair of more than 30 additional Indiana Task Force 1 members who are on their way to help sift through the damage.

“We train with the team every other weekend. Then we have our own separate training,” Fife said.

The task force has a team of K-9 search specialists. Dogs like Batman are used to finding missing people through scent.

“We train whenever we can to help her develop her skill at finding people, that’s the most important part,” Fife said.

At the end of the day for Burks and Fife, helping those in need is more than just a job — it’s a calling.

“I wanted to come down here so I could make sure that I could help get the lights on,” Burks said.