MN Task Force One is Prepared for Emergencies

Updated: 03/28/2014 10:40 PM
Created: 03/28/2014 8:23 PM
By: Brandi Powell

In light of the mudslide tragedy in Washington, we wanted to know how our emergency responders prepare and react to such an incident.

We talked with them about what they do. They call themselves "Minnesota Task Force One."

And right now, 25 people are in the midst of training to become members of this elite team.

Minnesota is no stranger to catastrophic events.

In 2003, Crookston homes and businesses were damaged, when a fault line along the Red Lake River slid away.

In 2008, torrential rains and flash flooding in the Southeastern part of the state, knocked out the public water supply in Rushford.

There's never an easy rescue.

Ulie Seal, one of the Task Force Managers for Minnesota Task Force One said, "It takes a while to confirm whether or not you've accounted for everybody or not, and sometimes it's very difficult to do."

From last year to this year, Minnesota Task Force One improved its toolbox, to the tune of a $500,000 from the state.

They now have more listening devices, and heavy ground tools. Plus, "more scopes, those are fiber-optic cameras that we can scope into small places," Seal said.

"If there's a body heat in that void space we can pick it up with a camera," Seal said, using regular and thermal vision.

These things are helpful, if there's another landslide, like in that St. Paul Park, where the ground collapsed on a Mississippi River bluff, killing two children.

The next training for the trainees is in May. They'll be focusing on trench rescues.


Minneapolis/St. Paul

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