30Jan

Supervisor Hahn Honors Long Beach Search and Rescue Team for Lifesaving Efforts in Montecito Mudslides

Los Angeles, CA—Today, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn recognized the Long Beach Fire Department’s Urban Search and Rescue Team for their life-saving efforts in the Montecito mudslides.  The team is one of the best in the nation and performed five live rescues in the mudslides, including the harrowing rescue of a 14 year old girl from the rubble of her home. The rescue was caught on camera and made national headlines.

“In the middle of a disaster, this team threw themselves into harm’s way to serve a community in their hour of need,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “They were far from home—helping people they had never met and will likely never meet again. The Long Beach Fire Department’s Search and Rescue Team have demonstrated extraordinary skill and heroism.  We thank them for their life-saving work in Montecito and for the work they do every day to protect residents of Long Beach and Los Angeles County.”

The Long Beach Search and Rescue Team, which is made up of marine safety officers, lifeguards, and firefighters, was on the ground in Montecito ahead of the storm and was therefore able to save lives in the middle of the mudslides.  Because a gas line had ruptured in the area, the team was unable to use machinery and was forced to use manpower alone to sift through rubble and free survivors.

“I can tell you that Long Beach Fire Department was the very first team which was deployed to the Montecito and Santa Barbara area, the day before the rains came. For probably the first time in my career, our highly trained team members were up on that hill side when the rain came down and when those houses came down,” said Long Beach Fire Chief Mike DuRee. “Like true Long Beach professionals, they jumped into action and began to dig the survivors out of the rubble.”