SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — First responders in Central Florida are on the move to help with search and rescue efforts after a condominium collapsed in South Florida on Thursday.
42 members of the Urban Search and Rescue task force packed up their equipment Friday before heading to Surfside, Florida, where they will assist in the rescue efforts for the major building collapse.
Normally the task force’s large trucks head to areas that are outside of the state to help communities ravaged by hurricanes. This will be the first time they are heading to a building collapse.
Spencer Bashinski, an Orlando Fire Department district chief, is the planning manager for the USAR team and said, at last check, 150 people are still missing in the rubble.
“We conduct training all year long, all the members we are taking are structural collapse technicians,” Bashinski said. “It’s an opportunity to go and exercise what we have trained on for years and years.”
After they got the call from the state on Friday that they were needed, they began packing up equipment, ATVs and infrared drones. They also mobilized trucks, trailers and large command units.
The urban search and rescue team is comprised of firefighters from Orlando, Orange County and the Seminole County fire departments. USAR task forces 1 and 2 out of Miami-Dade and Broward County are already on scene.
The Central Florida task force will start their assignments at 7 p.m. when they arrive in South Florida. They should be deployed for about 10 to 15 days, but it could be longer.
See more in the video above.
©2021 Cox Media Group