LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department search-and-rescue team are back from a deployment in Turkey, where they used their skills to help survivors of the massive earthquake.
The devastation they saw was more than expected.
"Being on the ground seeing it is totally different," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Brad Lyon. "The devastation is enormous. It was incredible. Everywhere. Not just the city we were in but all over that whole region. I think the scope and the enormity of the whole thing is what surprised us,"
Reserve Deputy Robert Sheedy adds "when you look at the total devastation you realize this is going to take years if not decades to rebuild it. The people were so resilient and so appreciative of us being there and helping them."
As catastrophic as the devastation caused by the earthquakes is, the team says they were able to focus on their jobs. Their training simply kicked in.
RELATED: LASD Search and Rescue team members assisting in Turkey as survivors are found days after earthquake
"So as part of the search and rescue program we're usually rescuing people out of the mountains. But thanks to the department we've accumulated some skills that helped us rescue people in the rubble so we're very appreciative of our training," said assistant director Mike Leum.
Deputy Cynthia England Moyneur is a medical specialist who said that they see a lot of trauma on the job.
"I would say that we go into work mode so we're there and we do our job and we do it professionally but you know, now that we're home we can kind of think about things and do a little debriefing amongst ourselves," she said.