Los Angeles search-and-rescue teams return from Turkey after devastating earthquake

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Search-and-rescue workers from Los Angeles person returned from Turkey aft spending weeks assisting successful nan aftermath of nan region’s monolithic earthquake, which killed tens of thousands of group and displaced hundreds of thousands more.

More than 80 Los Angeles County Fire Department unit were dispatched Feb. 6 arsenic portion of nan U.S. Agency for International Development’s Disaster Assistance Response Team, which included a search-and-rescue squad from Fairfax, Va., aft nan magnitude 7.8 quake that devastated Turkey and bluish Syria that day.

The L.A. County and Virginia crews are nan only specified teams successful nan state that suffice nether nan USAID programme to assistance successful world disaster response.

“DART led nan effort to hunt for survivors successful Adiyaman [Turkey] and surrounding areas by utilizing delicate cameras, listening devices, search-and-rescue canines, and different specialized equipment,” nan Los Angeles County Fire Department said successful a news merchandise Tuesday announcing nan team’s return.

The unit assessed much than 6,000 buildings, including hospitals and homes, surveying dozens of structures a time to find whether they were safe for residents to move backmost inside.

“It’s a awesome psychological challenge,” Joshua Svensson, a civilian technologist pinch nan L.A. County Department of Public Works who was dispatched to nan region, recently told The Times. “It’s a dense responsibility, but we will spell to these houses and say, ‘I would slumber here.’ Offering group that bid of mind is simply a large deal.”

They besides performed hours of tunneling activity astatine buildings wherever they detected signs of life and consulted pinch section unit connected rescue attempts.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department besides deployed 7 members of its search-and-rescue program, who arrived successful Turkey connected Feb. 10, according to a news release.

They worked chiefly successful Antakya successful Hatay province, 1 of nan regions deed hardest by nan quake, which has killed much than 47,000 group successful nan 2 countries. The workers returned to nan U.S. connected Feb. 15.

Mike Leum, adjunct head for nan Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, has been a search-and-rescue reserve lawman for 30 years.

“It was a week of triumph and tragedy,” Leum said. The team, he said, rescued 3 people: a 52-year-old mother and her 18-year-old son, arsenic good arsenic a 17-year-old boy. “There were deceased people, but having 3 unrecorded finds were worthy it,” he said.

The Sheriff’s Department search-and-rescue squad worked pinch astir 150 different unit from Turkey and different countries, Leum said.