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    Governor's Office of Emergency Services Certifies Regional Urban Search & Rescue Force Within LB Fire Dept. and L.A. County Fire & Rescue (Santa Fe Springs area)

    (December 27, 2005) -- The LB Fire Department's work to build a multi-disciplined urban rescue team was officially confirmed today as the Governor's Office of Emergency Services [OES] certified two additional So. Cal Regional Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Forces: one within the LB Fire Department and another within L.A. County Fire and Rescue Operational Area E [Santa Fe Springs area].

    In an emailed release, OES says each task force consists of a "medical doctor, structural engineers, specialists in hazardous materials and weapons of mass destructions, paramedics, mobile intensive care nurses, specially-trained firefighters, public works specialists, search dogs, heavy equipment and rigging technicians, search and rescue and other uniquely trained personnel."

    The teams are "designed to respond to disasters within the regional Southern California Area, but can also be mobilized statewide by OES through the State's Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System," the release says.

    "I commend the actions of the cities of Santa Fe Springs and Long Beach for assembling these multi-disciplined rescue teams; they will be a valuable asset to OES in its mission to support our state's cities and counties during disasters," said OES Director Henry Renteria in the release.

    "These are lighter and quicker task forces than our eight 70-member US&R teams," said Kim Zagaris, OES Fire and Rescue Chief in the release. "These teams will mobilize into a disaster scene within 45 minutes and begin initial search operations and lay the ground work for our large teams that respond within several hours."

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