Five members of Rescue 101 SAR (Search and Rescue), a veteran-led organization based out of Greenfield, have deployed to Charleston, South Carolina to provide response and recovery support to people affected by Hurricane Ian.
The team brought a rescue truck and disaster response trailer to aid their efforts of conducting assessments and providing hazardous tree and storm debris removal services that will help expedite the recovery and rebuilding of impacted communities.
The team is working with another non-profit called Crisis Cleanup that assists the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“We will be here through the end of the week at least,” said Andrew Surritt, who started Rescue 101 SAR in 2013. “Right now we’re moving on to our next project, which is another structure with multiple trees down on the structure, and I think they’ve got a crane on site meeting us to help make the structure safe.”
Since its inception, Rescue 101 SAR has responded to more than 480 calls that include missing persons, isolated weather events, and large disasters. The organization utilizes the skills and experience of military veterans and first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.
“I saw that there was a need for a search and rescue team in southern Ohio that was trained after returning back to Ohio from the Air Force,” said Surritt. “One of the things I did in the Air Force was search and rescue, and I just noticed that there were no properly trained search and rescue teams.”
Most of the team that is deployed to South Carolina is from Greenfield. “We’ve got one gentleman who’s actually from Toledo, but our team members are from all over the state of Ohio, and they are 100 percent volunteer,” Surritt said.
Surritt works full time for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Columbus, and all of the Rescue 101 SAR volunteers have full-time jobs.
The organization is currently in the process of completing a dive team.
Surritt said the organization is completely funded through private donations, and they have received support from local businesses like Stevens Hardware in Greenfield, Lowes in Hillsboro, Home Depot in Washington Court House and Walmart.
“It’s private donations that make these missions possible to help other people,” said Surritt.
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.