A number of emergency response professionals from Kansas departed last night and earlier today for the Gulf Coast to assist local authorities with search and rescue operations.

The deployments were coordinated by the Office of the State Fire Marshal, which is the administrative agency for the Kansas Search and Rescue Response System and is responsible for directing the regional teams and the Kansas Division of Emergency Management through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a multistate agreement that facilitates emergency assistance between states during major disasters.

Personnel who deployed include:

Northeast Region Kansas Task Force 2 -- Manhattan Fire Department (four); Mission Township Fire Department (five)

Kansas City Metro Region Kansas Task Force 3 – Shawnee Fire Department (five)

Southeast Region Kansas Task Force 4 -- Chanute Fire Department (two)

South Central Region Kansas Task Force 5 -- Sedgwick County Fire Department (four); Derby Fire Department (four); Winfield Fire Department (three)

North Central Region Kansas Task Force 8 -- Salina Fire Department (five); Saline County Sheriff’s Office (two)

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism – 14

Office of the State Fire Marshal - one

Hutchinson Fire Department – one

South Hutchinson Police – one

Neodesha Fire Department - one

Parsons Fire Department – one

Pittsburg Fire Department – one

In addition, the 184th Air Wing in Wichita has activated 10 Airmen to provide visual information via satellites for leaders on the ground to get a bigger picture of the current situation.

Photos of some of the deploying personnel may be viewed on the Kansas Division of Emergency Management Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/KansasEmergency).

“The Soldiers and Airmen of the Kansas National Guard and Kansas agencies, like so many Kansans, feel a tremendous desire to help those affected by the floods in Texas and Louisiana,” said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general. “We maintain equipment and train our state responders, Soldiers and Airmen so we can respond to disasters in whatever capacity we are needed. We understand this incident will be a long-lived crisis and more of our resources may be requested later today or at any stage of response and recovery.

“Defending, protecting and serving our communities is what we do,” said Tafanelli. “It is a mission we are proud to carry out.”