Gov. Jerry Brown called on the California Emergency Management Agency on
Tuesday to send specialists from California's Urban Search and Rescue teams to
aid in search efforts following Monday's devastating tornado in Oklahoma.
Six specialists, including one from the Sacramento Fire Department, will be part of five California-based national Urban Search and Rescue task forces that join teams headed to Oklahoma from Nebraska, Tennessee and Texas. The action came at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"Our thoughts are with the communities impacted by Monday's tornado and we stand ready to assist," said Brown in a statement.
California-based specialists also will come from the Los Angeles city and county fire departments, the Oakland Fire Department and the Orange County Fire Authority.
State Emergency Management Agency Secretary Mark Ghilarducci said CalEMA is monitoring the efforts and will coordinate additional support if FEMA asks for more help.
There are eight California-based Urban Search and Rescue task forces, each composed of 70 or more people, that participate in the National Urban Search and Rescue System managed by FEMA.
The groups provide about 640 personnel who specialize in search and rescue, first aid, heavy equipment operations, canine search and rescue, hazardous materials, logistics and communications.
Rick Martinez, interim emergency services manager for the Yolo County Office of Emergency Services, was among those who left Tuesday for Oklahoma as part of a FEMA effort.
Martinez was previously fire chief of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.
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