Members of a special task force from our area are making their way to Florida to help in relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
The Wisconsin Task Force One - an urban search and rescue team - will spend 10 days in Jacksonville, Florida performing door to door searches for storm victims, flood rescue and administering medical aid. The team is made up of 35 members from eight fire departments across the state.
La Crosse is one of those fire departments making up the task force. Six members from La Crosse are on that team.
"Those responders live in Florida, so the damage that has happened to all those structures has happened to all the first responders down there," said La Crosse Fire Chief Ken Gilliam. "That adds insurmountable stress on to the police, fire and EMS people down there. With your friends and neighbors coming in from other states, it's a little bit more stable operating platform."
Other members are from departments including Appleton, Oshkosh, Chippewa Falls, and Camp Douglas.