Irma barrels toward Florida, NYC and NYS deploy task force of NYPD, FDNY, EMS

After lending a hand to victims of Harvey in Texas, the city’s Bravest, Finest and other first responders are now heading to Florida.

Members of the city’s Office of Emergency Management’s Urban Search & Rescue New York Task Force One, which includes FDNY, NYPD and EMS members, are being deployed to Florida in preparation for Hurricane Irma. The unit was called back from Texas following nearly two weeks of rescue operations there.

Irma, a Category 5 hurricane, is packing winds of up to 180 mph, and has already destroyed several Caribbean islands.

Forecast models predict the hurricane will hit the tip of Florida Sunday morning, then churn north along the state’s entire eastern shore, the National Hurricane Center said.

Florida emergency management officials have already begun evacuations, ordering tourists to leave the Keys.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo also deployed the 106th Rescue Wing of the New York Air National Guard along with helicopters, aircraft and rescue boats on Thursday to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida to assist in rescue efforts. The airmen also performed hundreds of rescues during their time in Texas.

“Just as New York stood shoulder to shoulder with Texas and Louisiana during Hurricane Harvey, we stand ready to provide any support and assistance we can for our neighbors in need,” Cuomo said.