PACOIMA (CBS/AP) — An elite Los Angeles County Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue team is en route to Japan to assist with search and recovery efforts.
The California Task Force 2, which recently returned from quake-ravaged New Zealand, left Saturday — taking with them 74,000 tons of equipment and six dogs.
The 72-member team geared up Friday at the request of the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.
Capt. Ed Lozano says the task force includes firefighters, emergency room doctors, engineers and hazardous materials technicians. There are also members specially trained in underwater rescue.
Lozano says some of the rescue workers just returned from New Zealand, where they were sent after last month’s Christchurch quake. They too are on the flight to Japan.
The team brings all of its own gear and have enough for an initial deployment of 13 days. It’s expected to be ready to work by Sunday.
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