Maryland Task Force 1 preparing to assist in response to Hurricane Maria

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Maryland Task Force 1 is getting ready to head out to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with their efforts to help the people affected by Hurricane Maria.

There are 200 members who are part of this team and 27 of them will be traveling by bus to Dover Air Force Base where they will learn exactly where they will be deployed.

It will be determined on Thursday whether they will go to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands or stay stateside on the East Coast.

"The storm passed through Puerto Rico and needs there are still being determined as the storm tracks almost like Irma did," said Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein. "It is still a threat to the East Coast and if it shifts westward as Irma did, we could be having need for preparedness and teams in the Carolina areas in the next coming days."

Medical personnel will also be joining the urban search and rescue team. Goldstein said they will be helpful during rescues in collapsed structures.

"Someone in a collapsed structure has specific medical needs that these doctors, these paramedics, these rescue specialists are trained on how to extricate and treat those victims," he said.

Maryland Task Force 1 is one of 28 FEMA teams deployed when natural disasters happen across the country. This will be the third deployment in response to a hurricane for Maryland Task Force One. They helped with the rescue efforts in Texas with Hurricane Harvey and in Florida for Hurricane Irma.

"We go through a lot of training, but that training provides us the opportunity to be able to help our community here at home and the community at the far and wide," said Goldstein. "We don't know if it will be Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands or the Carolinas, but we are able and proud to take the opportunity to go help another community in need."

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