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Six California rescuers sent to help in Oklahoma

By Josh Richman
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 at 1:53 pm in Jerry Brown.

Gov. Jerry Brown has directed the California Emergency Management Agency to deploy members of the state’s Urban Search and Rescue teams to aid response and recovery efforts following the catastrophic tornado that struck an Oklahoma City suburb Monday.

At the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s request, six specialists from five California-based national teams are on their way: two from the Los Angeles County Fire Department and one each from the Los Angeles City Fire Department, Oakland Fire Department, Sacramento City Fire Department and Orange County Fire Authority.

They’ll coordinate and support operations conducted by national task forces from Nebraska, Tennessee and Texas.

Brown said the Golden State’s thoughts are with the stricken communities; CalEMA Secretary Mark Ghilarducci said his agency remains in contact with FEMA and will send more support if necessary.

Eight California-based Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces — each composed of 70 or more members — take part in the National Urban Search and Rescue System managed by FEMA. Members have special training in areas such as search and rescue, first aid, heavy equipment operations, canine search and rescue, hazardous materials, logistics and communications.

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