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Pennsylvania Task Force One searching for victims in Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian

Pennsylvania Task Force One helping Hurricane Ian victims in Florida
Pennsylvania Task Force One helping Hurricane Ian victims in Florida 01:44

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Members of Pennsylvania Task Force One are on the ground in Florida helping victims of Hurricane Ian. Their primary mission was initially water rescues, but it's shifted to search and rescue. 

Pennsylvania Task Force One is going door to door in Fort Myers searching for victims who may be trapped under the rubble after Hurricane Ian leveled homes and left entire communities destroyed.

"I've been a paramedic for the fire department for going on 10 years now," Lt. David Sullivan from Pennsylvania Task Force One said, "and, you know, in busy sections of the city, but it took me aback for a second to look at the devastation that's in the area and to kind of take it in."

Sullivan is one of 45 members of the task force, a highly specialized team of emergency workers comprising Philadelphia firefighters. 

He and his K-9 Luna have been busy ever since they arrived to the disaster zone Sunday. 

"We did probably 100 homes on Sunday," Sullivan said. "We did about 500 homes yesterday and probably close to 200 homes today." 

Logistics is one of the task force's biggest challenges. 

In the aftermath of the hurricane, most gas stations are still closed. Therefore, it's been difficult to find fuel for their convoy of trucks and buses. 

A fuel truck has been ordered to address the problem. 

While the task force members are away from their families, their teammates become their family. 

"We rely on each other a lot when we do these types of events and we hold each other well, pretty good," Deputy Chief Carl Randolph, leader of Pennsylvania Task Force One said.

And the community has been supportive. 

The task force is prepared to stay in Florida as long as they're needed.

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