SPRINGFIELD – Governor JB Pritzker announced today a 68-member Fire Engine Strike Team, and the required mission equipment, will deploy to Louisiana to aid first responders in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. These first responders hail from the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) IL-Task Force 1 and are made up of members from various fire departments throughout the state. The team will be deployed to the affected area for 17 days.
“Days after Hurricane Ida’s landfall, the work continues in Louisiana and Illinois is proud to offer our support and resources to help our fellow Americans,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “These crews will offer support and assistance to Louisiana’s firefighters, especially giving them time to rest, care for their families, and help those in need. Illinois first responders are well-trained for these types of rescues and will be a valuable resource for Louisiana communities.”
In the coming days, 160 members of the Illinois Army National Guard will mobilize at the request of the Louisiana National Guard to provide manpower and equipment to assist with commodities distribution, general search and rescue, storm debris removal and route clearance, and general security and curfew enforcement.
Also in the coming days, a 46-member Search and Rescue Team from MABAS-Illinois is expected to return from Louisiana. The Urban Search and Rescue teams worked alongside local rescuers to conduct search, rescue, and recovery missions for humans and animals in flooded environments.
Requests for assistance are coordinated through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), a mutual aid agreement that allows states to request assistance from other states during emergencies. Officials from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) have been in regular contact with EMAC representative and are currently reviewing the anticipated needs drafted by the state of Louisiana and neighboring states.
The MABAS Fire Engine Strike Team will depart Illinois on Tuesday after receiving event identification, mission and safety briefings and mobilization assistance. This process ensures the accountability and readiness of personnel and state assets prior to departure. All costs associated with these deployments will be paid for by Louisiana.
Illinois, and its public safety agencies, stand ready to provide assistance in response to further EMAC requests as multiple states respond to the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.