The Los Angeles County Fire Department’s (LACoFD) Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) California Task Force-2 (CA-TF2) swiftwater team, led by Battalion Chief Dennis Cross, returned home from North Carolina on Monday, September 24, 2018. The 16-member swiftwater team and an Incident Support Team member were deployed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on September 10 in anticipation of the need for water and land-based rescues, ground surveillance, and community outreach as Hurricane Florence neared the coast of North Carolina.
On Friday, September 14, Hurricane Florence made landfall just south of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, as a Category 1 hurricane. The LACoFD swiftwater team patrolled neighborhoods over the next several days in Cumberland County and successfully rescued a man from his nearly submerged SUV that stalled in flood waters.
Many messages of thanks and appreciation have been received by LACoFD from Carolina residents grateful for the help from the out-of-state first responders. “Thank you for coming to North Carolina in our greatest time of need! Y’all are more appreciated than you will ever know! Thank you, thank you, thank you,” wrote one woman who proudly had a picture taken with her son and one CA-TF2 swiftwater team member.