By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An elite search and rescue unit from Maryland is now in Florida to help out following the devastation of Hurricane Michael.

Maryland Task Force 1 is based in Rockville in Montgomery County, but the 16 member team was activated by FEMA.

“The biggest need, the people who didn’t heed the warnings to evacuate. We need to get them the medical attention they need and getting them to a shelter location,” said Maryland Task Force 1 Captain Michael Crawford.

The task force was also deployed to South Carolina during Hurricane Florence last month.

They bring a lot of expertise in many areas, including swift water rescues, and the task force is equipped with four boats.

“The people that decided to stay back whether they were in their single family homes or trying to evacuate, but maybe they decided it’s getting too bad and now they’re in their vehicles, and now they’re stranded in high water,” Crawford added.

The elite Maryland unit is joining teams from Florida in the region, which took a direct hit from the category 4 storm.

It’s not yet known how long Maryland Task Force 1 will remain in Florida.

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