Chad Wagner is a busy man these days. He’s a paid firefighter in Glendale where he is a Lieutenant, but also volunteers at another fire district where he grew up.

He helps around the Lake St. Louis fire department, is a hazmat duty officer for St. Charles County and is also on the local rescue task force. If that wasn’t enough, he’s also a member of the Missouri Task Force 1.

Missouri Task Force 1 is one of 28 FEMA Urban Search and Rescue task forces in the country. They deploy out of the Boone County Fire District and are comprised of 210 members from across the State of Missouri.

On Oct. 6, FEMA activated the Task Force to help with search and rescue in Georgia and North Carolina where they did most of their work in the town of Lumberton. Their team consisted of 35 members and 10 ground support personnel with a full cache of equipment with an emphasis on water rescue capabilities.

They checked 171 addresses, removed 10 citizens and assisted six people who wanted to shelter in place. In addition, they rescued several animals that had been left behind when the flood waters rose. The team drove over 2,700 miles in 11 days.

The rescue team is fully self-sufficient and often slept on the ground in tents or on concrete floors. They did have the luxury of sleeping on cots one night. They carry their own food and water and can be deployed up to two weeks at a time.

Local host departments that participated in the deployment include:

  • City of Glendale FD
  • Maryland Heights FPD
  • Metro West FPD
  • Monarch FPD
  • Mehlville FPD
  • West County FPD
  • Florissant FPD
  • Lake St. Louis FPD
  • St. Charles FD
  • O’Fallon FPD
  • Rivers Point FPD
  • Saline Valley FPD
  • Rock Community FPD
  • Union
  • St. Clair.