Jill Bronaugh
Public Information Manager
Office of the State Fire Marshal
800 SW Jackson, Suite 104
Topeka, KS 66612-1216

Governor Brownback, Lt. Governor Colyer recognize Kansas Water Rescue Teams Deployed to Texas after Hurricane Harvey

OSFM | Sep 28, 2017

Topeka, Kan. – Governor Brownback and Lt. Governor Colyer  on Wednesday recognized water rescue teams from agencies across Kansas who were deployed to Texas to assist in recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey

The ceremony took place on the South capitol steps, and was followed by a reception at Cedar Crest that included the teams and their families.

The search and rescue teams, comprised of over 50 individuals from 16 different agencies across the state, deployed to Texas on Aug. 30 to assist with the floods after Hurricane Harvey. In addition to personnel, the deployment included hard bottomed, air, and inflatable boats. They all returned to Kansas on Sept. 5.

“We are proud of these individuals who were ready and willing to help when called upon.  They were prepared with specialized swift water rescue training that allowed them to be of service in this unique kind of disaster.  We thank them for their talents, abilities, and willingness to help others,” said Governor Sam Brownback.

The crews engaged in search and transportation operations for people and animals stranded by flood waters. Kansas search and rescue swift-water/flood teams, along with teams from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, worked mostly in Katy, Texas, with teams from Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Missouri. Collectively, 15 strike teams consisting of five boat squads combined for a total of 75 water assets. Kansas strike teams searched close to 1,200 structures and evacuated 27 individuals.  In total, the joint operation resulted in over 4,000 structures searched and over 100 evacuations. The teams also worked on other small assignments and were on standby as needed.

“What these brave men and women accomplished in serving our neighbors in Texas is a remarkable feat of collaboration and caring,” said Lt Governor Colyer. “They have represented our state well and we thank them for serving.”

"I am proud of the men and women from the many different Kansas organizations who did not hesitate when called upon for hurricane relief," said MG Lee Tafanelli the Kansas adjutant general. "I am especially proud that the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which guides the coordination of all these resources across the country is once again being managed right here in Kansas by the Kansas Division of Emergency Management.

I would also like to remind Kansans that September is Preparedness Month. Though there are numerous skilled, courageous responders such as these, it is everyone's responsibility to be prepared at home for an emergency. If you need information about what your family can do to be prepared, please visit"

Agencies involved were: The Kansas Adjutant General’s Office, Kansas Fire Marshal’s Office, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Chanute Fire Department, Derby Fire Department, Hutchinson Fire Department, South Hutchinson Police Department, Manhattan Fire Department, Mission Township Fire Department, Neodesha Fire Department, Newton Fire/EMS, Parsons Fire Department, Pittsburg Fire Department, Salina Fire Department, Saline County Sheriff’s Office, Sedgwick County Fire District #1, Shawnee Fire Department, and Winfield Fire/EMS.