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California sends urban search & rescue task forces, allied personnel to assist in response to Hurricane Dorian

Posted at 11:01 PM, Sep 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-04 02:10:12-04

At the request of FEMA, Governor Gavin Newsom, through Cal OES, has approved the deployment of five Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces and two California-based US&R Water Rescue "Mission Ready Packages" (Teams) to support search and rescue operations of Hurricane Dorian.

The personnel will come from the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, the Sacramento City Fire Department, the City of Oakland Fire Department, Los Angeles City Fire Department, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and Cal OES Fire & Rescue.

Each Task Force consists of 35 highly trained search and rescue specialists, including K-9s and medical personnel. They will serve as a part of the National US&R Response System assisting local first responders in Hurricane Dorian's impacted areas.

In addition to this large deployment of US&R personnel, the activation will include two Water Rescue Teams and equipment from the Los Angeles County Fire Department and Orange County Fire Authority.

During the deployment of the US&R Task Forces, specialists will use their knowledge, skills and disaster response experience to assist in the coordination of state/federal US&R teams, and conduct search and rescue operations in support of local authorities.

During the hurricane seasons of 2017 and 2018, Cal OES supported the deployment of all eight California-based state/national US&R Task Forces collectively to North Carolina for Hurricane Florence; Texas for Hurricane Harvey; Alabama and Florida for Hurricane Irma; Hawaii for Hurricanes Lane and Olivia; Florida for Hurricane Michael; and Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands for Hurricane Maria.

In July 2019, Cal OES supported the deployment of California-based US&R Incident Support Team members to Louisiana for the landfall of Hurricane Barry.

The State of Florida is also receiving US&R resources from Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Texas, New York, Missouri, Massachusetts, Utah, Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada.