Unofficial Harvey tally: Ohio Task Force 1 rescues 173 people, 40 animals

UPDATE @ 6 p.m. (Sept. 6): Members of Ohio Task Force 1, as they spent Wednesday rehabbing equipment for a likely deployment in response to Hurricane Irma, are being hailed as heroes for the mission stemming from Hurricane Harvey.

"As Chief of OH-TF1 I am proud to be a part of this organization and I am especially proud of them," Dayton Fire Chief Jeffrey Payne, who is OH-TF1 supporting agency chief, said in a prepared statement released Wednesday afternoon.

"They are heroes to those they helped, they are heroes to their country, and they are heroes to the State of Ohio," Payne said.

Chuck Jones, operations chief, Texas Task Force 1, said to OH-TF1 in a thank-you note, "We needed the help, you provided the best resources the country has at the right time and Texas will be forever grateful."

Final reports and numbers from Houston are not in, said Phil Sinewe, public information officer for OH-TF1, but here are preliminary numbers gathered by the task force:

  • 173 people rescued
  • 40 animals rescued
  • 3,027 miles traveled
  • 46.3 boat miles navigated
  • 52.3 square miles searched

Team members have spent much of Wednesday getting Ohio Task Force 1 fully prepared for any additional assignments from FEMA should the need arise, Sinewe said.

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UPDATE @ 10:43 p.m. (Sept. 5)

Forty-nine members of Ohio Task Force 1 who traveled to Texas pulled into Kettering on Tuesday night after a week of assisting in Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.

“It’s obviously good to be back home, everybody is anxious to get back and see their families and get back to normal routine for us,” one OTF1 member told News Center 7’s Caroline Reinwald.

Reinwald was in Kettering when the OTF1 volunteers returned to eagerly waiting spouses and children.


Ohio Task Force 1 has been demobilized and will be returning home after days of missions in the Houston area following Hurricane Harvey.

The team is expecting to be home and back to their Kettering facility by around 8 p.m. Tuesday, according to a spokesman.

RELATED: Harvey (Day 5): Ohio Task Force 1 remains in Houston area

The task force had been based in Katy, Texas, just outside of Houston for much of their deployment and focused on water rescue missions after heavy rains flooded areas of southeast Texas.

The team is made of many Miami Valley firefighters and EMS members and others from around the state.