County Search and Rescue Unit Returns Tonight From Hurricane Recovery Effort
The county Fire and Rescue Department's urban search and rescue team, returns at 7 p.m. tonight from a week-long deployment to Mississippi in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
Here is the rest of the department's news release:
The unit will return at about 7 p.m., arriving at the Department's Fire and Rescue Academy, located at 4600 West Ox Road.
Virginia Task Force One departed Tuesday, August 30, and established a base camp in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The team was given the mission of damage assessment, search, and rescue and recovery along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The 34-member FEMA Type III task force focused its efforts in the hard-hit communities of Biloxi, Gulfport, Pass Christian, and Waveland, Mississippi.
As an invaluable local disaster resource, the task force is one of 28 FEMA-sponsored teams, and one of only two US-based teams capable of world-wide deployment through an agreement with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The team has responded globally to natural and manmade disasters, including earthquakes in Turkey, Taiwan, and Iran, Oklahoma City bombing, 9-11-01 Pentagon attack, and the tsunami in Indonesia last year.
While deployed, task force personnel used sophisticated detection devices and canines to rapidly and efficiently search for victims that were trapped in collapsed structures, or buried under debris. Assigned structural engineers, physicians and paramedics, logisticians and other professionals worked closely with local emergency management officials to ensure hurricane-affected areas were thoroughly searched. In addition to providing community closure by locating several victims, the team was called upon to assist with the medical care and transportation of an elderly survivor, found in the woods by local residents.