(CORRECTED to reflect that three have been rescued, not six). A Los Angeles County urban search and rescue task force deployed to Haiti Thursday has already helped to locate six people and rescued three of them tfollowing the nation's devastating earthquake.
The county fire department reports that the team, dubbed USA-2, used its search dogs to find the victims. The first three rescues happened “in a three-story multi-family dwelling along the western border of Port-au-Prince,” according to a county fire statement.
“The second incident, also with three victims” was more than a block away and “”involves a four-story building that experienced a pancake collapse with eight-foot slabs and concrete floors.” Crews were still working on extracting those three.
The department states that 28 members of the 72-person L.A. team are still at the scene of that collapse.
County fire Insprector Matt Levesque explained that the L.A. team was one of the first three fire-department based search-and-rescue teams from the United States to reach Haiti after the 7.0 temblor hit Tuesday. He said the team was ordered to travel to Haiti by the Federal Emergency Management Administration, which pays to keep the task force trained and equipped for just such occasions.
“We're under the umbrella right now of the federal government,” Levesque said. “That's how it works.”
He said not to worry, however: L.A. County has two other “large” search and rescue teams at the ready 24-hours a day. The Los Angeles city fire department has one.