L.A. County Fire Rescue Crews Return From Haiti
L.A. county rescuers deployed to Haiti Thursday, (January 17, 2010)
The County Fire Department's Urban Search and Rescue Team returned late Thursday afternoon after two weeks in the island nation.
County Fire Inspector Steve Zermeno says the team found at least nine people who were trapped for days in collapsed buildings in Port-au-Prince.
Team member Bill Monahan, recalled one rescue in which he had an engineer on his team call out for trapped earthquake victims.
"He went down there and he said `Is anyone in there,' and they answered, and he popped up, and his eyes were this big. I mean it was the most emotional feeling I've ever felt in my life. I mean this has never happened before, when I said we're going to save a life I said that because that's what we do."
Family and friends of the task force members welcomed the crew as they returned to the county fire facility at 12605 Osborne St. in Pacoima just before 6 p.m.
California Task Force 2 includes 72 firefighters, paramedics, doctors, search dogs, heavy equipment specialists and engineers trained in rescues from collapsed structures.
The group flew to Haiti after a Jan. 12 quake that killed an estimated 200,000 people.