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Search and rescue team leader: Miami Beach efforts will lean on technology

Search and rescue team leader: Miami Beach efforts will lean on technology
Posted at 4:49 PM, Jun 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 23:23:16-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - In the wake of the deadly, partial collapse of a condo building in Miami Beach, the leader of a local urban search and rescue team says the work ahead will be demanding, and lean on technology.

Video shows the ocean-faced portion of a 12-story condo building collapsing around 1:30 a.m. Thursday. In the aftermath, there was a frantic race to find survivors.

“Time is extremely valuable. Minutes, hours. We always talk about that golden hour within a traumatic incident,” said San Diego Fire Battalion Chief Aide Barbat, who leads California Task Force 8, one of 28 federal urban search and rescue groups.

On the group’s Facebook page, photos of a recent training include crews searching the rubble of a structural collapse.

His team won't be called upon in Miami Beach. As time is of the essence, closer teams will be put on standby.

He says at the scene in Florida, technology will be important.

“Our tech search specialists utilize listening devices, cameras, K9s. K9s can actually do a search a lot quicker than we can sweep the area,” said Barbat.

He says K9s can also be deployed if a shout is heard or a camera or listening device points to noises or a person.

In Miami beach, drones also being used, as some 40 people have been rescued from the portion of the building still standing and another partially collapsed.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has hailed as heroes the first responders who raced in, unsure whether further collapse was imminent.

RELATED: Surfside condo building was going through 40-year recertification before collapse

More than 50 remain unaccounted for. At least one person was killed.

The focus will now turn to the site of the total collapse, likely a painstaking and emotional search for survivors — and those who did not survive.

“There’s always hope. There has been incidents where we found people a week or two later.

Just depends on the void space they may be in, and what resources they have available,” said Barbat.