PACOIMA (CBS) — An elite Los Angeles County Fire Department squad is en route to Japan to assist with search and recovery efforts.
The California Task Force 2, which recently returned from quake-ravaged New Zealand, left Saturday – taking with them 45,000 pounds of gear.
The 75-member team geared up Friday at the request of the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.
A swiftwater rescue team will be part of the contingent, in case firefighters have to work in tsunami-inundated areas.
The task force is made up of Los Angeles County Fire Department firefighters and paramedics, along with emergency room physicians, structural engineers, heavy equipment specialists, hazardous materials technicians, and communications and logistics specialists.
The team brings all of its own gear and have enough for an initial deployment of 13 days.