Indiana Task Force One returns after battling Hurricane Florence physically and emotionally

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- After more than a week battling whipping wind and rain, and saving more than 100 lives, Indiana Task Force One (TF1) is back home.

“The faces of all those people I can still remember them,” said Captain Michael Pruitt, “We had many members, this was their first time out the door to a hurricane.”

Captain Pruitt said the rain came down so hard, at times it stung their faces, but the first responders continued to pull people to safety.

“Our squad had 20 or 30 within a three-hour period Sunday night," TF1 member, Tim Lavin said.

“Every time a boat would go in, you’d hope and pray the guys would come out without any issues," said Captain Pruitt.

The team is ready for some rest and relaxation.  Captain Pruitt said first comes the physical pain followed by the emotional wear and tear.

First responders spent days at times, waste deep in water rescuing people and pets.

The group's first call to action was to a tree crashing into a home.  They were able to save the father inside, but a mother and her child didn’t make it.

“You can deal with a lot of things, but when kids are involved, that's when it gets tougher," Lavin said.

Indiana TF1 used their dogs to search the home for survivors, but when the dog came back with nothing, they sent their other dog named Blitz.  He is trained to find human remains.

“Its not often that we are able to use him, said his handler Jana Lee Gallagher. "We do need to use him, he’s accurate."

Sadly, he found their bodies.  The dog handlers said nearly every TF1 member gave them an emotional pat on the head as they headed back to the truck.

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