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USAR team honored for rescue work in Haiti

February 11, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
They did valiant work under horrible conditions in Haiti, saving the lives of earthquake victims. On Thursday morning there was a hero's tribute for the members of the L.A. County Urban Search and Rescue Task Force.During one rescue in Haiti, team members heard cheers and chants of "USA, USA," and it sent shivers up their spines. On Thursday morning, the team and six search-and-rescue dogs were honored for their fearless work in Haiti.

The event took place at 10 a.m. at the L.A. County training center in City Terrace where Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, fire officials and family and friends came to celebrate the tremendous work they did in Haiti following the massive 7.0 quake.

"Today I'm very, very happy to see him home, to see him well, to see this beutiful celebration for him and all the members of his team. It's so exciting," said Nelly Rascon, mother of a USAR member.

The 72 member team comprised of doctors, engineers, firefighters, communication specialists and six search-and-rescue dogs. The group flew to Haiti on a two-week deployment. They arrived back in Los Angeles on January 28 after working around the clock on search-and-rescue missions. They rescued a total of nine people who had been trapped for days following the massive disaster.

The governor spoke about the team's incredible work and their team leader also addressed the crowds about the work done by Task Force Two.

"They were constantly working, they didn't take breaks, they didn't ask, they didn't complain," said Task Force leader Terry DeJournett. "It was a very emotional and very strong moment for this team and I couldn't be any prouder of them."

"There were nine people that were rescued and it felt so great that when you pulled out these people from the rubble, you could hear chants of, 'USA, USA, USA,'" said Schwarzenegger. "And this was really great because it was truly their hour of need, but it was your hour of true action."

One rescue in particular was that of a 24-year-old who was found 11 days after the quake hit. The Haitian government had already called off the search, but L.A. County's Urban Search and Rescue team was there to lend a helping hand and they pulled the young man out from under the rubble of a collapsed hotel.


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