Hurricane Dorian: LA firefighters head to Southeast to assist in search-and-rescue effort

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A 41 person team made up of 39 firefighters and two civilians left LAX Tuesday night on their way to Charlotte, North Carolina, to assist in search-and-rescue operations once Hurricane Dorian passes through the Southeast.

This same team deployed to Harvey and Irma in 2017 and Florence in 2018, working on behalf of FEMA. Members include two K-9s, rescue specialists trained in breaching and search specialists trained in wide area search, close-up search and searching collapsed structures.

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There's also a logistics team that's part of Task Force 1 to support the team's operations, allowing them to be self sufficient in any disaster zone. And one of the civilians traveling with the team is a doctor.

"Specific to our Dorian deployment is we're bringing a lot of swift-water and water rescue capabilities in the area of search, in the area of swift water. Once the storm moves through, we expect there to be a lot of water movement in some of the rivers draining out. We've seen in past years that some of the flooding even post storms tend to be some of our biggest problems so we really anticipate that being one of our most useful areas to assist," said Tim Ernst, an assistant chief with the LAFD.

A water rescue team with the L.A. County Fire Department has also been activated to assist with search-and-rescue operations.

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