‘It’s a race against time’: local team describes what Miami search and rescue teams are going through | Mobile County Alabama News
MOBILE, Ala (WALA) – We chat with a local urban search and rescue expert about what first responders are facing in Florida due to the apartment collapse.
Hours after the collapse, urban search and rescue teams were on hand to rake the crumbling concrete.
“It’s a race against time,” said Douglas Cooper, who helped create Mobile’s urban search and rescue team. “The longer it is, the more the chances of survival decrease exponentially over time. “
Cooper isn’t helping in Florida, but he knows what these crews are up against. Twenty years ago, he helped create the urban search and rescue team in Mobile called Alabama Task Force One.
“For the first 24 hours they do what they call a blitz so these guys don’t take breaks and sleep or something,” he said. “Those who got there worked non-stop. “
Cooper says the Surfside rescue teams have plenty of resources at their disposal, such as K-9s, hearing aids and other technology to help guide crews to the victims.
Officials in Florida say it could take a week to complete the research.
“They’re tunneling right now if a dog hits a certain area or one of the tech research guys says I can hear sounds like someone breathing or hear a tapping noise or whatever. thing like that, then they will start to move debris, ”he said. mentionned.
In order to find the missing, Cooper says rescuers have to descend into the creamy concrete. He says it can be difficult and dangerous work.
“Their main goal is to do as many rescues as possible, but they will stay put and help with recovery efforts once that is over,” he said.
Cooper says one of the things that should help Surfside is the fact that there are two federal urban search and rescue teams in the area.
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