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Search and rescue crews from all over the world assist in Surfside rescue efforts

Surfside search and rescue
Posted at 9:37 PM, Jun 27, 2021

It’s in times of tragedy that we often see the best in humanity. Additional rescue teams have been arriving in Surfside each day to help out.

According to Florida State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis, this is the largest deployment of Urban Search and Rescue the State of Florida has ever seen, non-hurricane.

“Typically you have a Cat 5 hurricane, have Hurricane Michael, we would assemble all those forces together, this is the greatest effort that’s ever been put together by Florida non-hurricane,” said Patronis.

Patronis says around 370 search and rescue members are on the ground, sifting through the rubble.

It’s now an international effort, with rescuers from Israel arriving on Sunday to help.

“There’s a lot of people to thank after this is all over. There are a couple of female dog handlers who spent countless hours yesterday at the scene trying to search for bodies with their dogs. And it was at the end of a very long shift and I was like ‘thank you for your service,’ and she was like ‘can you pet my dog?’ And I’m like, ‘I would love to pet your dog!’” said Senator Jason Pizzo, (D) Miami.

Senator Pizzo shared a video of rescuers entering through gaps in the rubble as they search for survivors.

“The brave men and women share the frustrations with families. They would like to be able to do more, to show more, to make it go faster, to have superhuman strength and lift large pieces of things and find people alive,” said Senator Pizzo.

Neither the families nor the rescuers are giving up hope that they might find even just one person still alive.

“With Haiti, there was 8 days in the rubble where an individual was found alive and well, so I do have hope,” said Patronis.

The teams, including a team from the Tampa Bay area, are split in half to work in rotating 12-hour shifts. They switch jobs every day at noon and midnight.