<a href="http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/gallery/2011/03/11/magnitude-8-9-quake-tsunami-hits-japan/">» PHOTOS: Disaster In Japan</a>

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (2)
  1. Gt says:

    Stay safe and come back home soon!

  2. Garrett says:

    You are an amazing group of people, work fast and come home safe!

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