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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 14, 2010

LOCAL RESCUE SQUAD BEAT MAJOR UNITS GETTING TO HAITI

In a dramatic example of how essential the local is in our increasingly centralized world, one of the first of the rescue units to reach Haiti - even before much of the national U.S. or U.N. units - was the Fairfax Count rescue squad from Virginia.

Washington Post - Early this morning, Fairfax County's elite search and rescue team saved a United Nations security guard, who was buried beneath a massive pile of rubble. Officials said, the Fairfax team used cameras, listening devices, saws and jackhammers to extract the man. The 72-member team was one of the first U.S. rescue crews to arrive in the quake-torn country Wednesday afternoon.

Members of the team, which was established in 1986, include emergency managers and planners, physicians and paramedics and specialists in the fields of structural engineering, heavy rigging, collapse rescue, logistics, hazardous materials, communications, canine and technical search. The team has set up a base of operations on the grounds of the American Embassy in Haiti.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, Virginia Task Force 1 is has approximately 200 specially trained career and volunteer fire and rescue personnel, with expertise in the rescue of victims from collapsed structures, following a natural or man-made catastrophic event.

The team is comprised of emergency managers and planners, physicians and paramedics and includes specialists in the fields of structural engineering, heavy rigging, collapse rescue, logistics, hazardous materials, communications, canine and technical search.

The team is self-sustaining for approximately 14 days. It left from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department's Academy at 8:15 a.m., January 13. The task force has also deployed nationally to the Oklahoma City Bombing, The Pentagon, Hurricanes Katrina and Isabel. Additionally, they have deployed internationally to the bombing in Kenya, earthquakes in Turkey, Taiwan, and Iran. They also handle local emergencies

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