El Paso

El Paso's CBP Air & Rescue to participate in Hurricane Irma operations

El Paso CBP crew to help with...

EL PASO, Texas - They just got back from rescuing dozens of people and animals from the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.  

Now, El Paso Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine are packing their bags again, this time to help with search and rescue efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

ABC-7 caught up with the crew members as they packed their bags and readied equipment to help in missions related to Hurricane Irma.  Some are leaving as early as 6 am Friday morning.

Rudy Maldonado, CBP Air and Marine director, says his crews are committed.  Right now, they're home to re-connect with their families, get things done at home, and prepare to deploy.  Despite the long hours and being away from home, he says they're energetic, and they understand it's the commitment they have as public servants.

During Hurricane Harvey, the crew took part in more than 50 rescues.  

"The beauty of search and rescue is that people want to be found. They're going to get in to an area where they can make themselves seen.  In Houston we were operating over houses and water, which we don't normally deal with in the desert.  In the desert we have lots of options to land," Maldonado said.

Search and rescue is only part of the mission.  They also support law enforcement, and transport things like blood, water and food to areas a vehicle can't get to.  

The team will stay on this mission as long as they're needed, then await their next job.


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