S. Fla. Search & Rescue Team Standing By For Alabama Deployment

MIAMI (CBS4) — The City of Miami’s Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 2 (USAR-TF2) has been placed on standby for possible deployment to Alabama following the devastating tornadoes that hit the state Wednesday.

More than 200 people are dead in the South after the deadliest outbreak of tornadoes in nearly 40 years and officials expect the death toll to rise. Alabama’s state emergency management agency says it has confirmed 131 deaths in the state. As many as a million people in Alabama are without power.

The USAR-TF2 team responds to a variety of disasters where victims may be trapped, lost or injured. The group consists of 80 highly trained members and thousands of dollars worth of specialized tools and equipment.

While the City of Miami is the sponsoring agency of the Team, it’s also composed of experts from 23 additional fire and police departments as well as professionals from the civilian ranks.

Each member plays an integral role in the Search and Rescue process. The team is deployed with doctors, structural engineers, search and rescue canines and their handlers as well as heavy rescue specialists, logistics specialists and communications specialists.

If USAR-TF2 is deployed, they can be ready to leave in under four hours.

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