On a mission to save lives, Texas Task Force One organized supplies to help fight through the chaos in Haiti.
The group includes Houston firefighters and got the go ahead to deploy early Thursday morning as a disaster response team. It's a significant mission because this is the first time Texas Task Force One will deploy for an international mission.
Task Force One is a part of ten FEMA, Urban Search & Rescue teams headed for Haiti, hoping to sift through the destruction and pull out survivors.
"I think the graphic pictures we've seen on the TV tell us a lot. We expect to find people buried under concrete rubble," said Texas Task Force One Operations Chief Jeff Saunders.
It's a massive search and rescue mission. The team is taking 80,000 pounds of gear, worth $5 million.
"Our main training for the last three years has been for an earthquake event," said Warren Weidler, Texas Task Force One.
Many of the TTF1 members have helped before when disaster struck with both 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Therefore, many have an idea what to expect in Haiti.
"We anticipate seeing things we don't want to see, and that's where we're going to rely on each other for the strength we need to go on," said Saunders.
Once on the ground, the task force will deploy where they're needed. The number one priority is to find people still alive beneath the rubble.
"We expect the photos and news we've been watching to be as real and as bad as they say; total devastation, death pretty evident and people trapped who need us to get them out," said Weidler.
Advance teams will assess rescue needs. Dogs will search quickly for trapped people. And all 82 members will look as long as they need to.
"We have specialized equipment. We have specialized K-9s. We want to make sure those are used to their utmost and, literally, we'll keep searching until somebody tells us they don't think it's a viable mission for us anymore," said Saunders.
Originally Texas Task Force One was supposed to be somewhere over the Gulf of Mexico headed for Haiti Thursday night. The team's flight was delayed so it will instead leave from Ellington Field early Friday morning, bound for Port-au-Prince.