Less than six hours after announcing the mobilization of 96 members of the Indiana National Guard Governor Pence has ordered the Guard to stage 24 additional Highway Assistance Teams. This additional deployment is in response to the heavy snow and frigid temperatures forecast for the entire state according to a 2:15 p.m. press release from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
The additional 24 Highway Assistance Teams will be stationed at the Armories in Fort Wayne, Bluffton, Winchester, Muncie, Kokomo, Evansville, Gary, Valparaiso, Plymouth, Elkhart, and Remington. Each team will be ready for dispatching by 10:00 p.m. tonight. All Armories will have two teams with the exception of Ft.Wayne which will have four teams.
Each Team consists of two vehicles with each vehicle manned by two guardsmen. The teams will be utilized to assist local agencies with emergency life-saving duties. Assigned tasks may include the rescue and transport of stranded motorists, taking individuals to shelters and helping local emergency medical services reaching those who need EMS attention.
The additional deployments will result in a total of 48 Highway Assistance Teams available all across the state. The manpower levels now approach 200 Guardsmen and a total of 96 vehicles. The IDHS press release also states that conditions will be monitored and additional resources will be deployed as needed.