A Los Angeles County Fire Department Urban Search And Rescue task force was scheduled to return to LAX from Haiti Thursday, the department announced.
The 72-member team, dubbed USA-2 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, made at least nine rescues in Haiti before the country declared that it was too late to find live victims of the devastating 7.0 quake that hit Jan. 12. The L.A. team was in Port-au-Prince the next Thursday.
The return marks the end of the task force's 14-day deployment in Haiti. It was paid and supplied by FEMA, fire officials told LA Weekly, because FEMA maintains training for the team in order to deploy in times of national emergency. Los Angeles County has two other Urban Search and Rescue task forces.
It's work in Haiti was captured a few times live on CNN, with Anderson Cooper broadcasting live from one attempted rescue and bystanders chanting “USA, USA” at another.
“Family members and the fire department eagerly await the task force's return,'' said county fire Capt. Sam Padilla.
The task force was scheduled to be back at a county fire facility in Pacoima at 6:30 p.m. for a press conference.