County Fire Rescue Team Calls Off Trip To Chile

County Fire Rescue Team Calls Off Trip To Chile

After staging for a trip to earthquake-ravaged Chile this week, plans for a Los Angeles County Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue task force to travel there were called off. The trip was canceled after the Chileans declined to request the task force's help, according to county fire officials.

"There's a staffing plan and they were canceled," county Fire Dispatch Supervisor Robert Diaz told KPCC (89.3 FM).

The 74-member team packed up and prepared for deployment at a county fire site in Pacoima Monday but demobilized at 3 p.m. Tuesday, according to KPCC.

The U.S. Agency for International Development Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance told the team to get ready. Another in Fairax, Va. was mobilized as well, but the help was turned down by Chile.

Though Chile's 8.8 quake Saturday was a near-record setter in terms of force, it caused much less damage and loss of life than Haiti's 7.0 shaker in January. The same task force was deployed to Port-au-Prince and rescued at least 9 people buried under rubble there.

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