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PRESS RELEASE

Search and Rescue Operations Coordinated by LDWF Transport 363 Residents to Safety During Hurricane Ike's Pass Through State
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries News Update
BATON ROUGE , La. (September 16, 2008) - Search and rescue (SAR) missions coordinated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) successfully evacuated 363 residents from parishes impacted by Hurricane Ike between Sept. 12 and 15.

“Our search and rescue personnel and the support staff that kept them supplied, along with the state and federal agencies that assisted in our mission, did a remarkable job,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “Their efforts in preparation and response for the landfall of two hurricanes, within two weeks, demonstrates a high level of readiness that we can all be proud of.”

Acting as lead agency for SAR within the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) emergency support function framework, LDWF worked closely with the Louisiana National Guard (LANG) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to respond to rescue calls for assistance.  Additional SAR state-level assets were provided by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources.  Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) support was provided at the federal level by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Over the course of the four day response to Hurricane Ike, 665 SAR-trained responders and support personnel and 349 watercraft were positioned at inland staging areas for rescue response.  LANG and USCG additionally provided air support resources to aid waterborne responders with reconnaissance information and rescue flights as needed.

Pets evacuated with residents during SAR missions post-Ike totaled 19 and included 14 dogs, four ducks and a cat.

LDWF Enforcement Division agents are returning to their regional offices and will assist local law enforcement as needed with post-hurricane patrols and any additional SAR mission response.

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