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Al Studt heads to Path of the Storm

Member of Florida’s Task Force 4 Urban Search & Rescue Team deploys for Hurricane Idalia

Hurricane Idalia made landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast as a Category 3.

As Hurricane Idalia was strengthening into an extremely dangerous Category 4 over the Gulf of Mexico, BOSS Teammate Principal Al Studt was activated Tuesday, August 29, 2023, for deployment as a member of Central Florida’s Task Force 4 Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team.

Al and his team were prepared to head for the path of the storm, a role he has performed often since 2003 as a founding member of Task Force 4, a state asset urban search and rescue team formed post-9/11.

He was deployed to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Berkman Garage Collapse in Jacksonville in 2007, and the Champlain Towers collapse in Surf-side, FL in 2021. In 2015, he was voted Task Force 4 Member of the Year.

Fortunately, Idalia weakened slightly back to a Category 3 before making landfall at Keaton Beach in the Big Bend region of Florida early Wednesday, August 30, 2023.

Al’s team staged at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando with numerous other assets before being deployed Wednesday for Florida’s Gulf Coast.

For the next few days, they operated at Taylor, Dixie and Lafayette counties before demobilizing on Sept. 2, 2023.

“The Idalia deployment was just being part of the team in multiple ways,” said Al, whose present position is Structural Specialist (StS). “I was just a member of TF4 and TF4 was just a member of the large response force mobilized for the storm. It was a very successful deployment from the state's standpoint.

“TF4's assignments were into areas that were not extensively damaged. That is due to the fact that we were held in slight reserve to go to Tampa or Ft. Myers first, but once those areas were cleared, as the storm did not cut east and hit them, then we were sent into the impact area.”

There was relatively minor damage in the areas FL-TF4 was assigned and since there was no specific structural specialist work, Al served as a member of the search team.

“We did what we were assigned to do and then returned,” said Al. “I surely appreciate Aerodyne's support to my affiliation with FL-TF4.”

And we certainly appreciate Al’s dedication to making sure we are safe from harm’s way.

Al Studt is a founding member of Florida’s Task Force 4.


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