PATHFINDERS TASK FORCE® HISTORY
The Pathfinders Task Force® has been involved in the largest man-made and natural disasters in recent history. Having been first responders in Haiti and Japan following their massive earthquakes, and having spent 189 days in the Gulf of Mexico following the BP Oil Spill of 2010, the Task Force has gained an incredible amount of experience and proven to be a best practice for emergency management situational awareness and efficiency in disaster response.
The name Pathfinders emanates from a World War II army unit whose main function was to help guide transport planes and delivers to their destinations. The name first was developed by the British, however the soldiers who made it famous were volunteers from the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division, U.S. Army. The volunteer battalion parachuted into France to establish the pathways to guide the first arriving D-Day Airborne Divisions in 1944.
Today’s Army Pathfinders are considered “triple” volunteers-volunteering for the Army, then volunteering to be Rangers, and finally volunteering to be a part of the Pathfinder battalion.
Scott Lewis’ Godfather, who was wounded in the Black-Forest in WW II, was part of this unit and suggested the name in 1999 after the unprecedented, joint, civil/military, response by Eagles Wings to Hurricane Floyd, because the Pathfinders Task Force® similarly depends on volunteers who seek to help guide responders who will follow directly to those in the greatest need.
It is in this spirit of volunteerism, that the Pathfinders Task Force® (PTF) strives to honor its heroic namesake.
Hurricane Matthew was a Category 4 storm that devastated the Bahamas in October 2016. PTF used the Pathfinders Task Force application to coordinate Search&Rescue, Damage Assessments, and recovery efforts.
Hurricane Joaquin (Bahamas)
Hurricane Joaquin was a Category 4 storm that devastated the Bahamas in October 2015. PTF deployed to 7 Bahamian islands and used the Virtual Badge® software to coordinate relief supply distribution, conduct critical infrastructure assessments, and perform damage assessments of affected properties.
Black Swan Exercise (Bahamas)
Blackswan was the largest, most complex full scale exercise in maritime history. PTF provided the United States Coast Guard with its Virtual Badge® software, which created situational awareness and a common operating picture for USCG, Bahamian Govt, and 21 Cruise Lines
Hurricane Isaac Response (Florida, USA)
Pathfinders Task Force® was tasked with augmenting field documentation for responders for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue during the Hurricane Isaac Response. Road and property flooding was documented using Virtual Badge®, allowing for a comprehensive impact analysis and rapid response to residents that could not leave their homes due to floodwater.
Hurricane Irene Response (Bahamas)
Hurricane Irene Response made 4 landfalls in the Bahamas as a Category 3 hurricane. PTF was tasked with conducting a rapid damage and critical infrastructure assessment on the affected islands as well as providing coordination for the distribution of emergency relief supplies.
Tohoku Earthquake & Tsunami (Japan)
PTF was deployed to Japan following the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami and performed a situational assessment for an international coalition of non-profit organizations as well as coordinated the donation and distribution of emergency relief supplies.
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (Louisiana, USA)
Following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, PTF was deployed to Louisiana and was tasked with providing situational awareness and improved documentation from responders in the field. After a 189 day deployment, PTF collected over 48,000 field reports, which were automatically time/date stamped and geocoded using Virtual Badge®, which was labled a "Best Practice" by 3 separate BP inspection teams.
In 2010 a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, killing an estimated 225,000 people. PTF was tasked on 5 total deployments with missions ranging from emergency meal ration distribution, critical infrastructure assessments and special needs assessments.
Hurricane Ike Response
PTF deployed to Hurricane Ike in 2008 and used the first version of rapid assessment software to collect response data.
Hurricane Katrina Response
Hurricane Katrina was the fifth deadliest and most expensive hurricane to ever strike the United States. PTF was deployed to Harrison County, MS and conducted unmet needs assessment missions that included follow-up visits by teams to fulfill critical needs. Over 128,000 homebound survivor visits were conducted by PTF in 14 days.
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