Indiana crews sent to help with response to Hurricane Sandy
Responders could be there for weeks
Last Updated: 202 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is deploying a contingent of Hoosiers to the East Coast to help respond to Hurricane Sandy and the storm's aftermath.
The state said it started receiving requests for help with evacuation and storm response on Oct. 27 and worked on a plan for how to respond.
Indiana is sending 107 people and 44 vehicles, including 24 ambulances, to the region to help however needed. They could be called upon to help with the evacuation of hospitals and nursing homes.
"We believe Indiana was one of the first, if not the first, state to respond to the request for aid from the East Coast," said Joe Wainscott, director of IDHS. "We are constantly planning, training and preparing our emergency response resources so they can be readily available to assist our citizens in Indiana and others in their time of need."
The deployment includes the IDHS Management Assistance Team, All-Hazards Incident Management Team and five EMS strike teams.
The IMAT team has arrived in Maryland on Sunday morning. Part of the hazards team was sent to Maryland, while others went to New York.
Crews were told they will be there until Nov. 11, unless more help is needed.
The ambulance teams were sent to New Jersey. They are expected to be there until Nov. 1, unless more aid is requested.
Meanwhile, Indiana Task Force 1, the state's elite search and rescue team, has been placed on alert for a potential deployment.
Indianapolis Power and Light is also sending 22 people and 16 vehicles to help keep power running as Sandy sweeps through.
Each crew carries the basic equipment needed to reset electric poles and climb them to restring cables. They'll likely work 16-hour days and could be gone for two weeks.
"We step it up a notch or two when we go out of town. There is more serious work to do," said Mitchell Pugh, an IPL lineman crew leader. "The biggest satisfaction is when you turn on the lights, and you see families come out and they're clapping. The come out give us cookies, cakes and drinks."
IPL has back-up crews on standby in case Indiana needs help while its crews are out east.
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