You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

California crews deployed to Turkey to assist with search and rescue efforts

CBS Sacramento 2/7/2023 Adrienne Moore

SACRAMENTO — There is a race to rescue the hundreds still believed to be trapped in the rubble from the devastating earthquake in Turkey.

The Urban Search and Rescue Team out of Los Angeles County is considered the "best of the best." They have a long history of finding survivors days after a disaster.

As for crews in Sacramento? They say they're just waiting for the call.

A team of 81 was sent on an ominous mission that gets more critical with each passing hour.

"This team is highly skilled and elite in urban search and rescue, and especially trained to assist in rescue efforts, especially after earthquakes," Los Angeles County Fire Interim Chief Anthony Marrone said.

A task force made up of Los Angeles County firefighters, paramedics, rescue specialists, doctors, K-9's and structural engineers will be digging people out of the rubble after that deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

It's dangerous and delicate work as aftershocks and bitterly cold conditions threaten their rapid response.

"They're trained to find live people under rubble so we can pinpoint our rescue efforts to make sure that we're able to pull those people out," Marrone said.

Agencies in Northern California have yet to be called up, but the Sacramento Fire Department said it's on standby with crews ready to roll.

"They are self-sufficient for up to five days as far as food, water, shelter, everything - so they're not impacting the disaster area," Capt. Justin Silva with Sacramento Fire said.

Back down south, teams loaded up equipment that is instrumental in finding survivors stuck and covered in debris, tools similar to what they used in Mexico City back in 2017 to help with earthquake rescue efforts there.

"We've all seen after other disasters like Mexico City, the earthquakes in Nepal. Sometimes two, three, four, five days later, we're going to be pulling people that are alive out of the rubble," Marrone said.

A second team based out of Virginia has been deployed to Turkey as well. Both crews will be in place for at least the next two weeks.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon