Tallahassee Firefighters Are Searching Through Rubble Of The Partially Collapsed Surfside Condo To Find Survivors, Victims
Tallahassee’s Urban Search and Rescue Team is combing through the rubble of the partially collapsed condo in Surfside. They’re one of eight teams from across the state that are working at the site.
The Tallahassee team is composed of 24 firefighters, one contract engineer, and one mechanic. They will be working 12-hour shifts and staying in tents near the collapsed condo. Mike Hadden is a Division Chief for the Tallahassee Fire Department. He says the work will be dangerous.
“There’s still a lot of unknowns of why the building collapsed. They’re still worried about secondary collapse from the other structure. They are worried about making sure that the pile remains stable,” Hadden says.
Tallahassee’s Urban Search and Rescue Team has previously been deployed to Jackson County and Mexico Beach in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in 2018. But Hadden says it’s the first time the team is being deployed to a structural collapse.
“What they’re doing is utilizing their training and specialized equipment to try to find victims. They’re trying to isolate the areas where victims may be located: bedrooms, living rooms, places like that. And then what they’re trying to do is home in on those areas, and they’re listening—using special listening devices, they’re using sonar. They’re using cameras to get into these areas and crevices to see if there are any survivors,” Hadden says.
Tallahassee’s Urban Search and Rescue Team is scheduled to return home this Sunday. But Hadden says their stay in Surfside may be extended depending on the situation.