The 80-person team, made up mostly of firefighters from Memphis and the surrounding Shelby County municipalities, is trained and equipped to perform search and rescue tasks. The team also includes medical and technical personnel, in addition to search dog handlers.
"We'll assemble in Dallas and we'll be there until the hurricane goes through, and either we're needed down there, or there's no damage and we're sent home,â? says John Selberg, assistant fire chief Germantown Fire Department and TNTF task force leader.
Hurricane Dean, now classified as a category-4 storm, could reach the Texas-Mexico border near Brownsville Tuesday.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) finances TNTF-1 and other local disaster task forces nation-wide. TNTF-1 and other local disaster task forces are typically called in anticipation of potentially disastrous events. This will be the local group's 11th hurricane. They were also called to assist in the Pentagon search and rescue following the September 11, 2001 attacks there.