Local firefighters have volunteered to provide rescue operations for those effected by Hurricane Harvey. Five members of Kansas Task Force 4 (KS TF-4), including Pittsburg firefighter Tyler Johnson, and firefighters from Chanute, Neodesha and Parsons, have accepted deployment to serve one week in College Station, Texas.
Tyler Johnson is a certified swift water rescue technician and has worked for the Pittsburg Fire Department for seven years. Before joining the Pittsburg Fire Department, he served four years in the United States Marine Corps.
“I can’t think of a better person to serve the people in Texas,” said Pittsburg Fire Department Chief Mike Simons. “Tyler is a former Marine and a dedicated firefighter. His skills, training and experience will be a great help to victims of the hurricane.”
Pittsburg Fire Department is one of 12 counties in Southeast Kansas that make up Kansas Task Force 4. Members of the rescue task force receive training to assist with numerous disciplines of technical rescue, including structural collapse rescue, rope rescue, swift water rescue, wide area search and more.
Johnson and four other members of the local task force left Wednesday evening and met with other Kansas task force groups, forming Kansas Task Force 1. They will set up a base of operations at Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) in College Station, Texas, to conduct search and rescue missions. The deployment is scheduled to last until Wednesday, September 6.