Menendez Joined NJ First Responders to Stress that Resources and Support are Still Needed

Menendez Joined NJ First Responders to Stress that Resources and Support are Still Needed

Members were instrumental in 9/11 rescue efforts

Hoboken - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today joined members of New Jersey Task Force One (NJTF1), the state's urban search and rescue team, to thank them for their service and to call on elected leaders to meet their commitment to provide the resources first responders need to keep our communities and families safe. Menendez and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer stood with the team just steps from the location where, ten years ago, they assisted thousands who were being ferried to Hoboken from the smoldering World Trade Center site.

"On that day ten years ago, New Jersey Task Force One was on the frontline of history, the first soldiers in a new war," said Menendez. "Today, on behalf of everyone in New Jersey, I simply want to say thank you for what you did and what you continue to do every day for all of us."

Menendez stressed the need to keep the promise elected officials made to ensure first responders have the support they need, calling for state-of-the art communications interoperability, as well as FEMA certification for NJTF1, which will make the urban search and rescue team eligible for additional federal resources.

"Supporting our first responders is about more than having a photograph taken with you once a year on September 11th," added Menendez. "It's about fighting for you every day in Washington to keep the promise we made that day - the promise that we would never forget, and that we would do all we could to keep our communities safe."

About NJTF1

Established in 1997 and headquartered at the McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Mega-base, NJTF1 is an Urban Search and Rescue Team whose primary mission is to provide advanced technical search and rescue capabilities.

NJTF1 responded to the World Trade Center terrorist attack for ten days, arriving on site before any other search and rescue team. They spent more than 20 days responding to hurricane Katrina, and many days assisting after the recent hurricane Irene.

NJTF1 is made up of six components: Rescue, Search, Logistics, Medical, Haz-Mat and Planning. NJTF1 exceeds the FEMA model by having a swift water/flood water component at its disposal.

The Team is made up of about 210 professional volunteers (both active and retired) from specialized areas of expertise including: firefighters, police officers, rescue specialists, canine search specialists, medical doctors, nurses, paramedics, structural engineers, computer/planning specialists, communication experts, safety officers, operating engineers, and Haz-Mat specialists.