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Battling fatigue while on search and rescue duty in fires and hurricanes

Hurricane duty to fighting wildfires & back
Posted at 6:45 PM, Sep 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-08 21:45:14-04

No rest for first responders....

 "Just got back from Hurricane Harvey..."

Dave Gerboth is a Battalion Chief with San Diego Fire Rescue, attached to Urban Search and Rescue Team--Task Force 8.  He came home Thursday and is leaving Saturday for Florida.

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

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."

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. They're in a convoy with heavy equipment; 3 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.

 "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..."