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LA County Fire Preparing To Send Rescue Team To Japan

» PHOTOS: Disaster In Japan
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A factory building has collapsed in Sukagawa city, Fukushima prefecture, in northern Japan on March 11, 2011 after a massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake shook Japan, unleashing a powerful tsunami that sent ships crashing into the shore and carried cars through the streets of coastal towns. (credit: FUKUSHIMA MINPO/AFP/Getty Images)

A factory building has collapsed in Sukagawa city, Fukushima prefecture, in northern Japan on March 11, 2011 after a massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake shook Japan, unleashing a powerful tsunami that sent ships crashing into the shore and carried cars through the streets of coastal towns. (credit: FUKUSHIMA MINPO/AFP/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Los Angeles County Fire Department is preparing to deploy a 74-member team to assist in the rescue and recovery efforts in Japan.

The California Task Force 2, a urban search and rescue team, was requested by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.

Officials say the team will also be sent with swift water rescue equipment.

LA County fire officials say this team is the same group that was recently sent to New Zealand after that deadly earthquake in February.

The task force will be made up of Los Angeles County Fire Department firefighters and paramedics, along with emergency room physicians, structural engineers, heavy equipment specialists, hazardous materials technicians, and communications and logistics specialists.

They travel as a self-contained unit, including food and water.

Officials say the team is currently preparing to mobilize at the USAR facility in Pacoima and will depart from Los Angeles International Airport sometime Friday.

» PHOTOS: Disaster In Japan
» More Local Quake Coverage

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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