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Kentucky rescue workers coming home from Surfside condo collapse

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Posted at 4:11 PM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 17:47:41-04

(LEX 18) — Ohio Task Force 1 said goodbye to Surfside, Florida Tuesday after spending nearly two weeks at the site of the condo collapse searching for victims.

Six Kentuckians were part of the OH-TF1 team that went to Florida. One of them was Lexington Fire Captain Ryan Hogsten.

He said working on rescue and recovery efforts has been challenging.

"Literally the team started on the 12th floor and dug all the way down into the basement through 12 layers of concrete, so it's been difficult," Hogsten said.

He said it has been emotionally challenging as well.

"Even though this is what we signed up for, sometimes it's still hard to see," he said. "Some of the stuff we had to see is hard to see."

He said the team had access to a support group and they have also depended on each other for support.

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"Just having those people to lean on through these shared experiences," he said. "It helps. It really does. That's the best way to say it, is it helps."

He said it also helps to know they brought closure to victims' families as they prepare to see their own.

"I'll be happy to see my family, see my kids, see my friends at work," he said.

Ohio Task Force 1 expects to get back to Ohio Thursday evening. Then, those from Kentucky will head back home from there.