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Task Force 2 is here: 80 elite members, including K-9s, arrive to help in Surfside building collapse

80 members from Task Force 2 assisting search and rescue efforts in Surfside
80 members from Task Force 2 assisting search and rescue efforts in Surfside

MIAMI – Eighty elite members from more than 20 Miami-Dade County departments are embarked to go help the ongoing rescue mission at the Surfside building that partially collapsed Thursday, leaving over 100 people unaccounted for.

Friday morning, the members, who were activated on Thursday and are part of Task Force 2 of South Florida’s Urban Rescue Team, embarked to Surfside to assist Task Force 1, which is lead by Miami-Dade, with their search and rescue efforts on the ground.

Before embarking on their mission, they met at Miami Fire Staton 3 for their morning briefing and to be medically cleared for their mission.

Captain Grant Musser of Florida Task Force 2 explains, “We have all of this wonderful equipment out here to help breach concrete. Our role is to assist Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Florida Task Force 1 with any operations they need. We hope to get rolling right into work to help save lives.”

Also on board the mission? Highly trained cadaver dogs, as well as dogs that are trained to sniff out live human beings in hopes of truly saving people from the rubble.

“We do have the K-9s,” he added. “We have life-find K-9s, and we have three human remains K-9s.”

The three cadaver K-9s on the task force are named Fierce, Flame, and Phreya.

“We have been deployed to many missions, including Haiti and 9-11,” says Captain Erik Sánchez of the Florida Task Force 2. “So, we have all the members and experience necessary to do a good job.”

Task Force 2 is currently on the ground doing everything they can. These crews are trained to handle disasters around the world and the U.S, and are trained year-round.

LIVE COVERAGE: At least 4 dead, 159 unaccounted for following collapse

About the Author:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.