Back from Hurricane Harvey, San Diego search and rescue team heads for Florida

Posted at 7:01 PM, Sep 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-08 22:17:27-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - No rest for first responders.

"Just got back from Hurricane Harvey," Dave Gerboth, a Battalion Chief with San Diego Fire Rescue, said. He's attached to Urban Search and Rescue Team Task Force 8, which just came home Thursday from helping with Hurricane Harvey efforts.

Now, they're leaving for Florida to assist in Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

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"We know we're going into a disaster zone so we have to be self-sufficient," Gerboth said.

Each team member has two bags, already packed & ready to go on the next mission.

"When we open a bag, we know exactly what's in here. Start with helmets, identifiers, position we hold, personal protective gear, additional uniforms, rain gear... gloves," Gerboth said.

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They'll need all this and more. Some team members are already on the road.

"We have 81 total going to Florida; 24 left this morning," according to Gerboth. "They're in a convoy with heavy equipment; three semi-trucks full of equipment, including multiple pallets of water, pallets of meals ready to eat, emergency gear and equipment."

Heavy rain and 185-mile an hour winds - almost anything disastrous can happen.

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"We carry boats, people specialize in those operations; also have shoring equipment for buildings falling down, equipment to break concrete that people are trapped under; that can cut re-bar," Gerboth said.