The team returned on Tuesday afternoon to Gahanna, and following a debriefing, headed home to their respective parts of the Buckeye State. On behalf of the entire TERT OH-1 team, and the Ohio TERT Committee, we express our THANKS to the agencies and organizations that made the deployment possible. All deployed personnel should have received information on the upcoming reimbursement webinar meeting. The in-person team AAR meeting is being planned now.
The team stopped last night in Ocala, Florida, for the night. Tonight, they are stopped in Knoxville, Tennessee, for a last dinner as TERT OH-1, and to assist local authorities in fishing a goalpost out of a river.
Tomorrow, the team will arrive back in Ohio, and head back to their respective friends, families, and centers. There will be meetings, debriefings, and after action reports, for sure. From the newest member of the Task Force all the way up to the Committee Chairs, this has been at once a learning experience for all of us, and a sight to behold. Likely, many articles will be written, and seminars held, to talk through how this EMAC activation went from a paper request from Florida to assembling a full Task Force in 4 days. But, for the entire Ohio TERT team, as we witnessed it, this was a great moment for our team, for our State, and for all the organizations that supported our work to carry out our chartered mandate.
God Bless Florida.
We done good.
Its True. It’s Damn True.
The team ended their last shift at midnight. Job done, the team is packing up this morning, and expects to leave for Georgia this afternoon. The team is tired, but looking forward to a hot shower, and being able to sleep in a bed, inside a structure. The quote that has been given many times during the deployment is, “…experience of a lifetime…” This team of telecommunicators, themselves the best of their home agencies, were tested in many ways. They worked without days off, in a center foreign to them, on a phone and CAD system foreign to them, and they not only filled the need, they THRIVED. This grit and determination is part of what makes the TERT program such a critical tool for public safety communications centers in the aftermath of disasters like Ian.
The team ends their last shifts tonight at midnight. They received a sendoff from K-9 Koa from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. Tomorrow, the team starts demobilizing Camp Ohio and will likely depart for Georgia to start their trip home.
The team was today advised by Florida TERT Committee Chairman Natalia Duran that the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division has advised that their center and personnel have recovered to a point where TERT OH-1 is no longer needed and will therefore be demobilized 3 days early. The team’s shifts will end at midnight on Saturday, October 15. The team will spend Sunday reloading the equipment trailers and drive for the night to Georgia. They will drive to Central Tennessee on Monday, and plan to arrive back in Gahanna on Tuesday. Once a firm time is known, it will be posted here and on the team’s Facebook page. Family, friends, and media are warmly invited to welcome home the team.
TERT OH-1 personnel continued working today, and with the major step of public utility crews making entry to the barrier islands of Lee County, call volume continues to escalate. The access of personnel to facilitate restoration of electricity to the hardest hit areas is a key hurdle on the road to recovery.
Elsewhere, our team had the chance to receive a visit from Florida APCO Chapter President Kathy Liriano and Florida TERT Committee Chair Natalia Duran. President Liriano and
Chiaman Duran were visiting with TERT personnel from elsewhere in Florida, and from Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio, and Texas, who answered the EMAC request for assistance.
The team remains in good health and spirit but is tired.
We’ve had the first casualty of the deployment. One of the smaller tents did not survive yesterday’s storm. It was being used as a rest & recuperation area, not a sleeping quarter, so there is little change for the team. But, this is still a reminder that Mother Nature is still very much in charge. The team remains tired, but in good spirits.
Not even TERT OH-1 is immune to Mother Nature. A locally heavy thunderstorm created a bit of pond in the campsite. No injuries, all equipment is okay, but a lesson to always be prepared for everything!
Run volume is picking up. Lee County and the municipal governmental jurisdictions within it are starting to let evacuees back in with more regularity, though the 7PM curfew remains in areas without water or electricity.
Everyone remains in good spirits, if a bit tired, and now, soggy, too.
Our staff continued today with Day 3 of operations at Lee County Sheriff’s Office 911 Center. The staff continues in 3 platoons; it is expected that they will start rotating days off in the next day or two. Lee County Domestic Animal Services has been kind in lending the team 3-100-foot water hoses to facilitate refilling the water tanks aboard HAVOC-1. Lee County was also gracious in arranging for a sanitary vehicle to come out to perform
service on HAVOC-1 as well. Call volume remains steady, and it is important to remember that normal daily operations are continuing as well. The catastrophic damage and civil displacement not withstanding, LCSO remains a department tasked with public safety, hurricane or not. In that spirit, TERT OH-1 continues to provide support to LCSO’s 911 Center both storm-related, and in the course of daily business. The staff remain in good spirts.