Virginia Task Force One Returns Home After Hurricane Duties - NBC4 Washington

Virginia Task Force One Returns Home After Hurricane Duties

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    NEWSLETTERS

    After helping in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, then heading to Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico following Hurricane Irma, the team found themselves in the path of Hurricane Maria. News4's Jackie Bensen reports.

    (Published Monday, Sept. 25, 2017)

    Members of Virginia Task Force One returned home after dealing with three hurricane rescue efforts, including one where they found themselves in the direct path of a storm.

    After helping in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, then heading to Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico following Hurricane Irma, the team found themselves in the path of Hurricane Maria.

    Battalion Chief Michael Schaff said the group gathered and prepared for the storm, utilizing their training to ride out the wind and rains. Often more sensitive to impending storms than humans, the team's canine members did something unusual. They stayed awake all night.

    Fairfax County Fire Chief Richard Bowers said recent training had prepared the dogs and handlers for something they had not done before: Island hopping by helicopter.

    Family members waited for hours at a facility in Chantilly to give the task force an enthusiastic welcome home.

    Members of Maryland Task Force One are still on the ground in the hardest hit areas of Puerto Rico.