LA County Fire Sends Elite Rescue Team To Japan

» PHOTOS: Disaster In Japan

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.

» PHOTOS: Disaster In Japan
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(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • drozone69

    With all of our budget woes,do we really have the resources to finanace this trip?What happens to us taxpayers if an event occurs here when they are gone?will Arizona send us our help?

    • Rod

      Are you serious???

      • bendeb

        Orange County also has a USAR team.

    • Karen

      I am very happy that fellow Los Angelenos are lending a helping hand to our friend and ally. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.

  • Paula

    It’s through these humanitarian assists that we gain knowledge to better our survival rates in the USA. We gain much needed knowledge and experience by assisting other countries. We learn what we can do better. It’s also known as Humanity. Let’s keep all in our thoughts and prayers. And, GODSPEED to our heroes.

  • kevin

    Los Angeles Search and Rescue is one of the best and most experienced in the world. They are going to save lives. You don’t check your bank balance before you help a friend. Like Paula said, Godspead to our heroes and comeback safe.

  • swhitS

    Without friends people have nothing. Good luck guys hope it is successful and you save as many as possible. Stay safe.

  • Ben

    74,000 TONS? That can’t be right. The task force’s website says it brings 55,000 POUNDS of gear with it. 74,000 tons would be 148 million pounds.

  • Ron

    I just bought more bug out kits, one for the office and one for the car. If you care about your safety then you should at least have one bug out kit at your home to start!

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  • Eric

    The problem is when Cities,Counties, and local Government are laying off employees,including police officers,and on hiring freezes, where does the government find money to send to Japan? Where does Los Angeles County Fire Department find funds to send teams of Firefighters,equipment and supplies to Japan? We can not even take care of our own economy and homeless people living on the streets but lets spend Millions in aid to Japan. That does not sound right to me. I got a great idea! Lets tell Aig and other banks that got billions in bail out money to reduce company parties from $443,344 down to lets say $100,000
    and send the difference to Japan for Aid. That sounds resonable. Ohh and also we can ask Fema to sell or get rid of some of thier empty concentration camps all over the united states, or maybe they can get a refund on those coffins? It all ads up!

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