Emergency Management

Puget Sound USAR team’s work in New York comes to an end
Posted By Sheri Badger on Sep 27th, 2001 at 8:12 AM

Tacoma, WA – September 27, 2001 – Maj. Tom Miner of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, who is in New York City with the Puget Sound Urban Search and Rescue Task Force (WATF- 1), filed this report: Things are winding down for the FEMA US&R task forces. Today (9/25/01) the decision was made to downgrade to only two task forces per shift. WATF 1 was advised that today was its last shift on the rubble pile. Operations were shut down early today to pull down the free standing outer wall of the south tower. Cables were attached to it and pulled it over. Prior to doing that WATF 1 and FLTF 2 did a search of what was left of the Vista Hotel. About four floors of the hotel remain and needed to be cleared before the tower wall was collapsed down onto it. Once cleared the task force marched as a unit to the command post at station 1010 and presented a centennial American Flag the team found in the debris pile to the command staff of the FDNY along with a helmet signed by all the members of the task force. Once again WATF 1 is a class act. It should make front page news tomorrow back there. The plan is for the team to stand down tomorrow (Wednesday). Some tours are planned of the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Then the team will repack the cache and travel on Thursday to McGuire AFB and fly home Friday. It has been well worth our time back here but it is time to come home. Thanks for all the support and messages. Much appreciated.