On September 9 Ann Arbor Fire Department Captain James Budd, Lieutenant Allen Bruck, and Firefighter Bryce McAllister deployed as part of the 45-member Michigan Urban Search and Rescue Team, Task Force-1, to Jacksonville Florida at the request of the federal government.
While the trip was largely uneventful, Ann Arbor City officials recognized the three local firefighters who willingly made the two-and-a-half day trip from Michigan to Florida, putting themselves in close proximity to what was at one point a Category 5 hurricane on a trajectory to blow through the panhandle straight into the American deep south.
Mayor Christopher Taylor thanked the three veteran first responders for going “over and above the call of duty in service to our community to provide service to the communities affected by Hurricane Irma.”
The task force deployed from Holly, Michigan with the intent of being involved in the broader rescue and relief effort during and after the worst of the storm, but Irma changed course and veered for the Florida Keys and away from Jacksonville.
“Fortunately the storm didn’t take the track that it was supposed to and we got our marching orders to return home later that afternoon (on September 11),” Budd said. Task Force 1 was slated to work alongside a task force from Nashville Tennessee and National Guard units.
Budd thanked the mayor, the council, and the city for the support and recognition that are provided to Ann Arbor firefighters, as well as AAFD itself for allowing its member firefighters to participate in efforts such as the ones that Michigan Urban Search and Rescue Team leads when called upon to do so.