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Utah first responders headed home 24 hours after deploying to Gulf Coast

Posted at 9:33 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 23:33:51-04

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Utah first responders who left to help hurricane victims are on their way back home, 24 hours after deploying to the Gulf Coast.

Halfway to Baton Rouge Louisiana, FEMA told the Task Force 1 team to standby.

"The call came in, slow down they don’t know if they’re going to send you home or still use you," Salt Lake City Fire Capt. Anthony Burton told FOX13 News in New Mexico.

After an initial damage assessment in Louisiana, about half of the national Task Force teams were sent home.

“We always want to work, that is our business and our passion to help others. When they turn us around, it’s okay because you realize we don’t have as many people trapped, not as many people threatened,” said Capt. Burton.

The group includes doctors, search dogs, heavy rescue technicians, structural engineers and firefighters. They expected to be gone for about two weeks.

“There’s a part that there is a blessing. We are all safe, we are going home to our families and the community is being taken care of,” said Capt. Burton.

The group will continue to drive through the night and expect to be home on Saturday.