Firefighting, Natural Disasters, Technical Rescue

URBAN SEARCH & RESCUE OPERATIONS IN MISSISSIPPI

Issue 5 and Volume 159.

BY LARRY COLLINS In mid-afternoon of August 30 (Hurricane Katrina made landfall at 6 a.m. on August 29), FEMA Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) “White” IST Leaders Rick Martinez [chief of the Sacramento Metro (CA) Fire Department] and Dean Cathey [assistant chief of the Los Angeles (CA) Fire Department] completed their initial tasking at the federal staging area at Stennis Space Center and responded to Gulfport, Mississippi, where they had previously assigned the remainder of the IST to establish contact with the local authorities, initiate search and rescue operations in support of the local and state resources already working there, and establish a base of operations for what was going to be a massive multiagency search, rescue, and recovery effort. Martinez and Cathey had been in contact with IST Operations Chief Endricat [Philadelphia (PA) Fire Department] and Deputy Ops Chief Dan Cuoco [Miami-Dade (FL) Fire & Rescue Department] by satellite…

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