MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER (Aug. 14, 2015) -- Members of the Indiana Task Force One team train rigorously to ensure they are ready for any situation, rappelling off buildings and practicing rapid and efficient responses to any disaster that could happen around the country.
“We respond both locally, state and federally in the U.S. to any type of terrorist event or a natural disaster,” says Indiana Task Force One member Jay Settergren.
The Indiana Task Force One team is available 24 hours a day and works with the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA. Before the 230 members of the highly trained and skilled search and rescue team are deployed to an incident, they train here at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center. More than 1,000 acres filled with collapsed buildings, derailed trains and rubble that mimic real life scenarios give the team a taste of everything it needs to be ready for.
“A collapsed garage and some rubble buildings and things like that. They have some rubble piles here, they have trailer park, they have rural areas so we can do wide area search through the woods,” says Settergren.
Task Force One is made up of civilians and also Indianapolis firefighters and IMPD officers who conduct search and rescue operations. During one training exercise the teams used GPS devices to practice the process of checking on victims after a disaster.
“We did a mock deployment as if the village was flooded or just got done with a hurricane or a tornado. So we went through and did a search, made sure that if anyone was here still and needed help we could get that to him,” says team member Alex Riddhagni .
Indiana Task Force One is also fully trained to operate in flooded areas where they can provide emergency medical care to victims at disaster sites. The team responded to Hurricane Sandy.
The training equips them with the knowledge, skills, power and teamwork to step in and help when the State of Indiana or anywhere in America needs their help.
“We always want to stay as prepared as possible,” says Settergren.