Two firefighters hoping to be selected for Indiana Task Force 1

A view of a the Columbus Fire Department's new fire truck in the garage at Fire Station No. 6 in Columbus, Ind., pictured, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. The new truck was dedicated in a wet down ceremony at the station. Mike Wolanin | The Republic

Two Columbus firefighters hope to be selected for a special search and rescue task force.

The Columbus Board of Works approved a memorandum of agreement Tuesday between the city of Columbus and the city of Indianapolis, through the Indianapolis Fire Department regarding participation in Indiana Task Force 1. Local firefighters Jarrad Mullis and Marcus Gruner are candidates for this task force, said Capt. Mike Wilson, Columbus Fire Department spokesman.


If they are selected, they will have to go through specific training, said Columbus Fire Department Deputy Chief Mike Kutsko.

“I think this is going to benefit a large group of people, not only the task force for getting some excellent candidates from Columbus, but the Columbus area,” he said. “… They’ve already brought back some of that training and have shared it with the Columbus Fire Department.”

Kutsko said the search and rescue tactics may have come into play during a June 17 rescue of a disabled woman from a residential fire, for which firefighters and emergency services personnel were awarded Medals of Valor and Courage earlier in the meeting.

Indiana Task Force 1 is part of the National Urban Search & Rescue Response System established by FEMA. The task force is prepared to respond to any natural or human-created disaster 24 hours a day, handling all hazards from local search and rescue to national large scale-incidents, according to Indianapolis officials.

The team was deployed during 9/11, as well as during various hurricanes.

The team describes itself as “comprised of emergency responders from various professional backgrounds across the state.”

For the complete story, see Friday’s Republic.