Patrick is one of the canine handlers for the Utah Taskforce One. The team was deployed to Houston as part of the initial response to the hurricane. They were sent out ahead of the anticipated arrival of the hurricane and spent a couple of days in San Antonio. Then they were sent to Houston to assist the Houston City Fire Department.
The Utah Taskforce team and Houston firefighters made several boat rescues to bring people from their homes to a safe shelter. Their main objective was to respond to 9-1-1 calls. They used a freeway exit for a boat ramp. Many of the people were in their flooded homes and they couldn’t get out. The oldest person they rescued was a women who was 102 years young.
Patrick said the biggest problem with the devastation left behind by the hurricane was flooding, upwards of 52” of rain. Patrick said it felt like it never quit raining for four straight days. He said it was pretty humbling to see the people there. He said they were happy to see help and were very thankful for the firefighters. He was most impressed by how everyone came together as a community and helped out.
Patrick has been a firefighter for 12 years. He joined the newly formed Draper Fire Department in July, 2017.
Pyro is a beautiful, shiny black lab. Patrick and Pyro have been training together for two years. Pyro and Patrick are also members of the Urban Search & Rescue Team. Patrick takes Pyro home with him when he is not at the fire station.
Hurricane Harvey is the wettest tropical cyclone on record for both Texas and the United States. The Houston metropolitan area saw at least 30 inches of precipitation, with a maximum of 64 inches in Nederland. The storm was slow moving and the winds were strong, ranging from 30 mph to 130 mph. The resulting floods affected hundreds of thousands of homes, displaced more than 30,000 people and prompted more than 17,000 rescues. There were 90 fatalities. The hurricane was as large as the state of Utah.