Menlo Park Fire District sponsored National Urban Search and Rescue Team heads for Texas
Members of Task Force 3, one of eight California State Office of Emergency Services (Cal-OES) Task Forces and one of 28 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Teams, headed to Texas this evening (8/27) on a 28-hour plus drive.
The Team deployed with a convoy of five vehicles and 10 boats in trailers from Menlo Park Fire District’s Special Operations Warehouse in Menlo Park at 6:00 pm Sunday evening. They were already in contact with other teams ahead of them to find out the best and open travel routes.
The Task Force is a blend of multiple Bay Area Fire Agencies and civilian professionals sponsored by the Menlo Park Fire District. Similar state teams from Oakland, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego Fire Departments have already been deployed.
“This is the most significant national response event since Hurricane Katrina,” said Menlo Park Fire District Chief Harold Schapelhouman.
“Our main mission is to protect and serve our local communities first while sending out highly- skilled personnel to assist the people and State of Texas. Today’s requests will be balanced against personnel and units currently out on Wildland Fires along with maintaining our daily staffed positions in each of our seven Fire Stations.”
The Water Rescue members being deployed today will come from not only Menlo Fire but also from central San Mateo County, Palo Alto, San Jose, San Mateo and South San Francisco Fire Departments.
Several of the Team members responded to Hurricane Katrina, while others were involved with this year’s response to Oroville Dam, potential flooding in the Central Valley, and flooding along Coyote Creek in San Jose.