Cincinnati firefighters working to rescue Hurricane Michael victims

Firefighter part of Ohio Task Force 1

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati firefighters are doing their part to help the victims of Hurricane Michael. A few of them are part of Ohio Task Force 1.

Wednesday morning, FOX19 NOW talked with Ohio Task Force 1 member, Grant Light.

Grant normally works for Cincinnati Fire, but for the past week, he’s stayed busy with his team in Florida, searching for victims among what’s left of homes on Mexico Beach.

“A lot of people call it a blue-collar community. It’s not a high-rent district. It’s been here for forever. Years and years and years. A lot of families have had houses on the beach for forever,” said Light.

This week, we’re getting a firsthand look at what’s left of homes that used to sit there.

“As the hurricane rolled ashore, it pushed these houses off their foundations, basically rolled them up the shore, across the highway and turned them into big debris piles,” said Light.

Those piles are now mountains that Light and his teammates with Ohio Task Force 1 are tasked with climbing and searching through - but they have help.

“So, we work the dogs into the wind. They know what they’re looking for. And if they smell something, they can work their way back to where the source is,” he said.

The teams are bringing closure to families still searching for their loved ones. They’ve found victims among the debris, but given how big the situation is, Light says he doesn’t know how many victims were recovered.

So far, OHTF1 completed welfare checks in homes throughout two counties and Light said FEMA teams touched at least 27,000 homes in the area.

Light said he expects to stay for as long as they’re needed, but most deployments last about two weeks.

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