South Florida Search and Rescue Teams Head to Bahamas

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Search and rescue teams from South Florida are making their way to the Bahamas to help with relief efforts following Hurricane Dorian.

The Miami-Dade and City of Miami fire rescue teams are deploying about 80 personnel to the areas most devastated by Dorian, which struck as a category 5 hurricane earlier this week.

The rescue teams were leaving Port Everglades Friday. They’re bringing medical staff, equipment, food and other supplies, along with some Bahamian residents who are returning to their homes.

“We have light equipment, we’re expected to be a small group able to move quickly,” Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban said. “We’ve got some pick-up trucks, high water vehicles, some Gators, light tools, and that will allow us to get to the island and move around quickly.”

Aerial Images of Bahamas Show Destruction in Dorian’s Wake

[NATL] Aerial Images of Bahamas Show Destruction in Dorian’s Wake

The highly-trained medics have responded to other natural disasters, including the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

“I’m expecting this to be probably worse than Haiti. You’re going to have a lot of buildings that are down, a lot of people that are stuck and then you add on the water component,” Miami-Dade Fire Rescue medical director Benjamin Abo said. “I am unfortunately expecting to see a lot of severe fractures and open wounds and unfortunately there’s probably going to be a lot of body recoveries.”

The trip is scheduled for an initial five days, but they will reassess based on needs.


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