JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Crews from Northeast Florida on Sunday traveled to South Florida as search and rescue efforts continued at the condominium building that collapsed Thursday.
About 80 members of the urban search and rescue team made up of firefighters from Jacksonville, St. Johns and Clay County left Sunday afternoon to head to Surfside.
“All the people that you see behind me raised their hand and said, ‘I want to go, send me to help,’” Chief Steve Riska said at Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department’s training facility, where the team departed from.
JFRD said the team was scheduled to begin working on the site at midnight.
Check in and medical are happening now…. The convoy will realistically leave by 1pm.— THEJFRD (@THEJFRD) June 27, 2021
St. Johns Fire Rescue said team members will rotate 12-hour shifts for a seven-day deployment.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said his thoughts and prayers are with those who volunteered for this mission, the victims and their loved ones.
We just received the call for our crews to head to Miami for one of the most difficult assignments they’ll ever face. I’m grateful to our men & women from @theJfrd Jax Fire/Rescue who volunteered for this mission. My thoughts & prayers are w/ you, the victims and their loved ones pic.twitter.com/y5uIE6BAdf— Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) June 27, 2021
Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue Chief Alan Cominsky said called this an extremely challenging situation because of how the 12-story building collapsed.
“It’s compact, extremely compact, so it’s a very slow process where we have to shore, we have to stabilize the best we can, as we’re moving through the area because, again, if there is a void space, we want to make sure we’re given every possibility for survival,” Cominsky said.
JFRD’s Mobile Incident Management Unit arrived early Saturday in South Florida. The unit consists of a semi and a pickup truck hauling a generator. It arrived in the Miami area about 1:30 a.m. Saturday and was set up and fully operational less than three hours later, JFRD said.
Gainesville Fire Rescue also deployed eight urban search and rescue specialists to Surfside on Sunday.