Press Release: California Task Force 3 - The Task Force has returned and prepares for another response

Published on Sep 17, 2017 at 08:58a.m.

California Task Force 3 – Has returned from Florida and prepares to respond again!

The Bay Area Urban Search and Rescue Task Force returned today to their base of operations in Menlo Park after driving roughly 5200 miles back and forth across the United States to Elgin Air Force Base in Florida with 11 vehicles, 7 trailers and over 60,000 pounds of search and Rescue equipment.

The Task Force, one of two from the Bay Area, four from the State and fourteen from across the Country that were all deployed in advance of Hurricane Irma which devastated parts of Florida. Fortunately, the damage to the upper areas of Florida was minimal and the services of the specialized rescue team were not needed.

A small army of other Task Force members met the returning Team members with hugs and handshakes and then it was back to business checking in equipment like gear bags and moving vehicles, trailers and equipment back into the warehouse for cleaning, checking and rehabilitation, which was started and will be accomplished in the next several days in case another deployment request comes in.

Photographs courtesy Menlo Park Fire District by Peter Mootz

Picture 1320 – Team members unload from buses after traveling 5200 miles back and forth to Florida in 7 days

Picture 0952 – Team members begin to check-in equipment from Hurricane Irma in order to prepare for another deployment

One member of the Team, Carl Kustin, is still in Puerto Rico and is awaiting Hurricane Maria.

Current FEMA US&R OperationsThe US&R Branch is coordinating contingency plans with Regions II and IV based on the current status of this event. 

  • A FEMA US&R Incident Support Team is deployed to St Augustine with a forward element in San Juan PR to coordinate federal ESF #9 support.

  • PA-TF1 and the IN-TF1 HEPP are completing operations in the lower Keys.

  • VA-TF1 and MRPs from MA-TF1 and CA-TF6 remain in San Juan PR, staged for potential impacts from newly formed Tropical Storm Maria.

  • All other System resources have been demobilized from the Hurricane Irma response.

The FEMA NRCC is activated to Level I.

Required Action:  This is an ESF #9 Advisory; no action is required at this time. Expenditure of funds is not authorized.  No request for additional ESF #9 or FEMA US&R resources has been received.  Should there be a request; US&R task forces would be activated based upon US&R Program Directive 2014-018 – Event Resource Selection Process.  Task forces should monitor the status of this event as it progresses.

The US&R Branch will issue additional advisories as appropriate.

In total – Sharing the experience and opportunities to serve the Nation for this deployment were:

Menlo Park Fire Protection District – 10 Personnel

Central San Mateo County Fire Department – 8

City of Monterey Fire Department – 1

Palo Alto Fire Department – 2

San Mateo Fire Department – 3

Genentech – 2

Milpitas Fire Department – 2

Mountain View Fire Department – 4 (K9)

Redwood City Fire Department – 1

San Francisco Fire Department – 3 (K9 Teams)

San Jose Fire Department – 10

Santa Clara City Fire Department – 5

Santa Clara County Fire Protection District – 6

SRI International – 2

South San Francisco Fire Department -3 (K9)

Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety – 1

Woodside Fire Protection District – 2

Civilian Professionals - 16


Prior Deployments to the Nation’s most significant emergencies:

1991 Hurricane Iniki, Type 1, CA OES Mutual Aid

1993 Acceptance as a FEMA US&R Task Force

1993 Northridge Earthquake, Type 1

1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Type 1

1998 Hurricane Georges, IST

2001 World Trade Center, Type 1

2002 Winter Olympics, IST support

2003 Hurricane Isabel, IST support

2003 Space Shuttle Columbia, Canine, IST

2004 G-8 Summit, IST

2004 Republican National Convention, IST

2004 Democratic National Convention, IST

2004 Hurricane Charley, IST

2004 Hurricane Frances, IST

2004 Hurricane Ivan, IST

2005 Hurricane Dennis, IST

2005 Hurricane Katrina, Type 1, MPFD Water Rescue Team, IST

2005 Hurricane Rita, IST

2005 Hurricane Wilma, IST

2006 Hurricane Ernesto, Type 3, ISTXI

2007 Kansas Tornadoes, IST

2008 Hurricane Gustav, Type 3, IST

2008 Hurricane Ike, IST

2008 Hurricane Edouard, IST

2008 Republican National Convention, IST                         

2010 Hurricane Earl, IST

2010 San Bruno PG&E Gas Main Explosion

2014 Washington Mudslide

2014 Operation Alaskan Shield

2016 Hurricane Matthew, IST

2017 Hurricane Harvey, Water Rescue

2017 Hurricane Irma, Type 1 and IST



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