Menlo Park search and rescue team members head to Washington mudslide

Two members of a Menlo Park-based California Urban Search and Rescue Task Force deployed Thursday to Washington State to assist with the search and recovery effort at a Snohomish County mud slide.

The team members, Division Chief Frank Fraone and Rob Patterson, are deploying as part of a 20-person support team made up of Urban Search and Rescue team members from across the country, according to Menlo Park Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman.

Members of Task Force 3, which is sponsored by the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, had just deployed last week to Alaska for a training exercise after being asked to fill in at the last minute for Washington State teams already occupied with search and rescue operations at home, Chief Schapelhouman said in a press release.

"The team hasn't seen this much activity since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and we haven't seen this many K-9 assets drawn from around the nation since the Space Shuttle Discovery tragedy in 2003," Chief Schapelhouman said.

News reports indicate that at least 30 people have been killed in the March 22 mudslide in Oso, Washington, north of Seattle.

— Bay City News Service


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