BEDFORD, Ohio — As crews continue to search for life at the site where a Miami condo building partially collapsed Thursday morning, Ohio’s Task Force One is on stand-by for help.
Part of the 80-man team is one local firefighter, Bedford Fire Lieutenant Brian Harting.
Harting is a 26-year veteran firefighter, spending eight of those years on a specialized FEMA Urban Search and Rescue team.
“We train hard because we want to eventually get the call to go out and make a search or make a rescue,” Harting said.
Harting said he’d followed the news of the collapse as it unfolded and learned the call he trains for could come any minute.
“Two minutes from now I may be getting the text you know drop everything and go right now,” Harting said.
Harting is over 1,000 miles away but told 3News he’s already in tactical mode.
“We’re just wired that way as firefighters,” Harting said. “[You know, I’ve been] sending messages saying hey this is what’s going on.”
As Harting prepares for an overnight shift at a Bedford fire station, he walked 3News through his packing check list.
“If we park and go work on the pile for any length of time, this bag would come with me,” Harting explained.
Harting’s ‘go-bag’ is filled with tools, first aid, and anything that could help reach folks found under debris.
“[This is] a saw wrench for any circular saw cutting,” Harting said. “We could be faced with concrete dust and water and a lot of debris.”
The heroic job entails leaving his family behind for the mission but his team, whose senior members responded to the 9/11 scene, is one he’s confident to work with.
“I just had a quick moment to run home. Just wanted to see the daughters real quick,” Harting said. “We’re fortunate to have that depth of experience on our team.”