Kentucky Flooding: Ohio Task Force 1 group moves focus to ground search for the missing

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Ohio Task Force 1′s focus has been shifted from water rescue in southeast Kentucky to a ground search for people reported as missing in the floods, one of the task force leaders of the Vandalia-based organization said Tuesday afternoon.

Forty-three members of the task force remain in the region as part of the massive contingent of search and rescue teams that have responded to the deadly natural disaster.

>> RELATED: Kentucky Flooding: Latest death toll is 37 with hundreds still missing

“Our crew’s made up of firefighters. We’ve got police officers, physicians, radio specialists and a lot of different people [for whom] it’s just a matter of helping,” one of the leaders, Jim O’Connor, told News Center 7′s Molly Koweek.

“It’s the extension of what we do as a normal profession as a firefighter, and we’re able to bring out specialized sets of skills to assist people here,” he said. “It’s just important to be able to help.”

>> RELATED: Ohio Task Force 1 sends additional members, canines to Kentucky floods

Monday, on day four of the task force’s involvement in the Kentucky mission, the team -- which added seven canines and five handlers -- focused their efforts on the area of Breathitt County, Kentucky, southeast of Jackson.

Sunday, on day three, task force members conducted operations near the Hindman/Knott County line in Kentucky.

>> RELATED: Kentucky Flooding: How you can help in the recovery efforts