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Arizona rescue team won't be going to Puerto Rico after hurricane hit

Posted: 9:32 PM, Sep 26, 2017
Updated: 2017-09-27 03:32:07Z

It appears an Arizona team specializing in urban search and rescue efforts will not be called upon to help in Puerto Rico, which is reeling after Hurricane Maria, at the moment. 

Arizona Task Force 1, which helped after Hurricanes in Texas and Florida, was again put on standby by FEMA last week to possibly head to Puerto Rico. On Tuesday, the Phoenix Fire Department confirmed the team was told to '"stand down."

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One day earlier, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton tweeted the following:

Arizona Task Force 1 has had a busy few months. The team was gone for 21 days to help after Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma and  just returned home in the past two weeks.

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"Seeing that devastation on the news, you want to be there, you want to help out," said Phoenix Fire Captain Michael Harrelson, who was part of the team in Texas and Florida.

Arizona Task Force 1 can send a team of up to 80 people to help following disasters across the country. Prior to this year, the team had not been called upon since 2008, according to the Phoenix Fire Department.

Harrelson says they remain ready if, and when, they're needed.

"I'd be ready to go again tomorrow if the call came in," he said. "I think most of us would jump at the opportunity anytime it comes up."