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No rest for the weary: Colorado Springs firefighters leave Harvey for Irma

September 6, 2017 Updated: September 6, 2017 at 8:51 pm
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CO-TF1 is heading to Alabama to stage in preparation for Hurricane Irma. (Photo courtesy of CSFD/Twitter)

More than a week ago, eight Colorado Springs firefighters - as part of Colorado Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue - arrived in Texas to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery.

They won't be coming home for a while.

The Colorado Springs Fire Department received word Tuesday night that the team would be headed to Alabama in preparation for Hurricane Irma, which is predicted to hit the U.S. mainland this weekend, possibly in south Florida.

CO-TF1 loads a C-130 aircraft with rescue personnel, rescue boats, and relief supplies that arrived in Beaumont, TX on August 30, 2017. (Photo courtesy of CSFD/Twitter) 

"Colorado Springs firefighters are in good health and their spirits are high," the release said. "The Colorado Task Force has experienced a warm outpouring of support as the 13 vehicle convoy pulls through small towns of America on their way to Alabama."

The convoy was expected to stop in Russellville, Ark., on Wednesday night to rest. CO-TF1, a Federal Emergency Management Agency program, has been upgraded to an 80-person Type 1 Urban Search and Rescue team, with members trained in search and rescue, hazardous materials, medical and logistics.

"The convoy is impressive, consisting of semi-tractor trailers packed with equipment and supplies, pickup trucks towing rescue boats and cargo vans carrying firefighters," the Fire Department release continued. "The convoy is expected to grow to 20 vehicles with the addition of 40 more firefighters as they pull into Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama and pre-position to deploy into Florida."

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Contact Ellie Mulder: 636-0198

Twitter: @lemarie

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