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Miami Fire Department Deploys Urban Search and Rescue Team to Haiti

MIAMI – A team of 80 rescuers representing South Florida Task Force 2 departed for Haiti today as part of an international response to the devastating earthquake, which struck the nation’s capital of Port-au-Prince.

Rescue experts boarded Coast Guard and commercial aircraft to ensure that all equipment and personnel will arrive as soon as possible. This will be the experienced team’s first international response.

“We are deeply saddened by the extreme loss of life, yet want the people of Haiti to know that they are not alone,” said Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado. “This is our first step towards helping our neighbor and Sister City at a time when it’s urgent that we provide immediate emergency relief.”

Upon their arrival, personnel with special training will use equipment and search canines to assess damaged structures, remove rubble and debris, and search for victims who are reported trapped and or missing. The team is prepared and equipped with food and water to stay for up to two weeks in Haiti and stand ready to assist in recovery efforts.

“The City of Miami Department of Fire-Rescue is proud to have South Florida Task Force 2 take part in the City’s efforts to assist our neighbors in Haiti,” said Miami Fire Chief Maurice Kemp.

Under the sponsorship of the City of Miami Fire Department, the South Florida Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) regional team, is composed of 28 different Fire and Police agencies from Dade and Broward counties with 210 individuals on call to respond to natural and or man made disasters anywhere in the United States. The team is equipped with 70,000 lbs. of rescue gear.

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