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Belfor Presents Check to Michigan Task Force 1 in Public-Private Partnership

Public Date: 4/20/2011 12:00 AM
Contact: Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer
Phone Number: 248-858-1048

Clarkston, Michigan -- Belfor, the worldwide leader in disaster recovery and response, will present Michigan Task Force 1 (MI-TF1) with a check for $25,000 at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, April 21, 2011 in the parking lot of DTE Energy Music Theatre during a large scale Task Force mobility exercise. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson will also be on hand.

"This donation by Belfor will help Michigan Task Force 1 maintain its readiness to respond to natural or manmade disasters in southeast Michigan,” said Patterson. “Belfor’s generosity exemplifies what can be accomplished through public-private partnerships."

This new public-private partnership with Belfor began when it graciously donated materials and resources for a large scale training exercise with three of the of the region’s four Strike Teams last year in Westland, Michigan. Then, after Belfor's leadership team witnessed firsthand the effectiveness of MI-TF1's Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) response system during the tragic building explosion in the City of Wayne last December, they sought to develop a greater partnership with MI-TF1.

Belfor's proactive approach and compelling ambition in creating a long lasting public-private partnership with MI-TF1 will now allow the Task Force to fulfill its goal of providing a 24/7 response system for protecting and serving southeast Michigan.

The newly developed Michigan Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue team became operational in October, 2010.  Now that MI-TF1 is fully response capable, the organization arrives at a new crossroad – how to sustain Task Force readiness in the absence of future federal grant dollars. 

Current and future federal grant funding guidelines prohibit funds from being used to provide basic organizational needs such as fuel, insurance, equipment repairs, vehicle maintenance, and other day-to-day operating supplies. 

To solve this dilemma, MI-TF1 has begun the process of developing community partnerships with both county and local government, as well as public-private partnerships with businesses such as Belfor. Currently, Oakland and Wayne counties and the City of Detroit have agreed to assist the team with annual funds.

MI-TF1 is comprised of 144 personnel, who have specialized training and resources for incidents needing complex search and rescue operations such as a building collapse, whether from manmade or natural disasters.  The core components of the team are made up of cross-trained, dual role, firefighters that carry out rescue operations, combined with civilian members who serve as the subject matter experts such as heavy equipment operators, structural engineers, canine search specialists, and physicians.

For media information only, contact Julie Secontine, Oakland County risk manager, at 248-858-1558.