Hurricane Fiona: 2 members of Pa Task Force-1 deploy to Puerto Rico

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Two members of Pennsylvania Task Force-1 were deployed after Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Fiona.

Ken Pagurek is a Captain of the Philadelphia Fire Department and Program Manager for PA Task Force 1.

“There are reports of significant damage. bridges failed. Power outage,” Pagurek said at Philadelphia International Airport before his departure for San Juan.

Pagurek will serve as part of a federal incident support team.

Sponsored by the Philadelphia Fire Department, PA Task Force 1 is one of 28 teams that are part of the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System, a federal resource that can be quickly mobilized anywhere in the country.

“We will go there and rescue people, evacuate if necessary,” said Pagurek.

Pagurek explained that when they arrive they will be able to better determine the needs.

Fiona comes almost five years to the day after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Irma had struck only weeks earlier. Pagurek was also in action at the time.

“I hope that I can go there and represent the people of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth properly,” Pagurek said.

Meanwhile, community leaders are on the phone with families in Puerto Rico trying to figure out the best way to get help for those who need it.

Former city council member Maria Quinones-Sanchez, who announced her candidacy for mayor, said she was particularly concerned about elderly people living alone.

“Leaders in the Puerto Rican government have been on the phone for the last few days — everyone talking, watching what’s going on,” Quinones-Sanchez said. “We went through Maria. We went through COVID. We know people will die if we don’t activate ourselves, so we’re very concerned about that.”

Charito Morales, a community attorney and nurse who hails from Puerto Rico but now lives in Philadelphia, is also helping to gather help.

To donate, you can contact Morales at (215) 847-0256. You can also email

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