LONG BEACH, CA. - Earthquakes strike suddenly and without warning, and can occur at any time of the year, day or night. Though earthquakes and other emergencies cannot be predicted, the City of Long Beach Fire Department is committed to ensuring that we are prepared and ready to provide immediate assistance to our community, county, region, and state.
Today, October 16th, 2014, at 10:16 am, millions of people in government offices, homes, businesses, schools, and public places throughout California participated in the Great California ShakeOut. Participants were told to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” during a simulated drill of what to do during a real earthquake. In continuation of this exercise, the Long Beach Fire Department will be participating in a large-scale full mobilization exercise (MOBEX) that will test our operational readiness for events such as this.
On Saturday, October 18th, 2014, the Long Beach Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Team will activate and deploy to the North Net Fire Training Center in Anaheim, California. Upon their arrival at the site, Long Beach Fire US&R Regional Task Force 3 will exercise large-scale incident management and operations on a large debris pile that will simulate the collapse of a building following an earthquake. The deployment of these specialized resources is done in conjunction with standards established by the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) to support the California State Master Mutual Aid system.
The California State Regional US&R Task Forces are comprised of 29 people specially trained and equipped for large or complex urban search and rescue operations. The Task Forces can be mobilized within 45 minutes and depart for operations anywhere in California. These teams are designed to be totally self-sufficient for the first 24 hours of an operation, and are capable of sustaining their mission with additional support from the requesting agency.
Once requested, Long Beach Fire Department Regional Task Force 3 mobilizes and responds with manpower and specialized equipment caches that include concrete and steel cutting tools, breaking devices, portable generators, air compressors, power saws, drills, air bags, floodlights, ropes and other technical rescue items, medical supplies, hazardous materials and radiation monitors, protective clothing, victim locating devices, search cameras and portable computers. These tools enable the Urban Search and Rescue teams to initiate and conduct sustained operations that will maximize the chances of survival of victims of the incident.
For additional information on this MOBEX and/or the Long Beach Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue program, please contact Firefighter/Paramedic Jake Heflin, Public Information Officer.