On June 24, 2021, the 12-story Florida beachfront condominium, Champlain Towers South collapsed at 1:22 am causing the death of 98 people. More than 80 rescue units responded to the event, including USAR teams from as far away as Israel. Our own NJTF1 responded as one of the elite FEMA USAR teams deployed to the scene.
Dr. Ben Abo, Medical Director of FLTF1, will share his experiences working at the scene of the collapse for almost a month, including the impact of working on a local event where rescuers have lost friends and family. Florida state emergency management efforts were led by Steve Hynes. He will share the intricacies of coordinating with the local OEM to support operations during a prolonged event.
Members from NJTF1 will share their involvement in this international-scale USAR deployment.
Steve is a Homeland Security Emergency Management Executive with over 35 yrs. Experience. He is currently working for Deloitte as an executive and has helped clients with over $5 billion in recovery grants.
He has served as the Deputy Director for the Florida Division of Emergency Management in the Executive Office of the Governor and as the Deputy State Coordinating Officer (DSCO). He has served as FEMA Operations Section Chief (OSC) for Region IV (South East United (8) States) Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT).
He has served as Director of Emergency Management for the City of Delray Beach, Palm Beach County Florida. He has served as a Type III Incident Commander on an International All Hazards Incident Management Team since 2010 with multiple deployments.
He is a retired law enforcement officer supervisor and worked multiple assignments over his 24-year career. Steve is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) and Master Exercise Practioner (MEP) and his career is marked with multiple local, state and federal leadership experiences and accomplishments in Public and Individual Assistance as well as holistic community resilience, recovery, strategies and operations.
New Jersey Task Force 1, is one of 28 federal FEMA Urban Search and Rescue teams in the country. We were brought into the federal system in September of 2016, and are extremely proud and honored to have been adopted into the system with the 27 other highly skilled and trained teams throughout the country.
The team has been in existence since 1996 as a state resource and still today we maintain that state status. As a state team they operate under the authority of the New Jersey State Police, Homeland Security Branch, Office of Emergency Management.
Members from NJTF1 will provide the New Jersey connection to this event and share their involvement from this nationally televised deployment.