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California Rescue Team Helping In Nepal

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

People walk past damage caused by Saturday's earthquake in Bhaktapur, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 27, 2015.

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

The California Task Force 2 team [CA-TF2] is part of the state's Urban Search and Rescue Program.

Governor Jerry Brown approved the deployment of Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 2 through the the Office of Emergency Services.

Fifty-seven specialists from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, will work in areas hit hardest by the earthquake.

They're using six search dogs and special equipment, including sonar and heavy concrete cutting tools, to find people buried under rubble.  

L.A. County Fire Department Battalion Chief Pat Rohaley is a team leader with the task force.

"We were actually there a few years ago on a training mission for just this type of event," said Rohaley. "And they have an infrastructure that is not unlike some other countries that we have been to."

He's not traveling to Nepal for this mission, but he knows first-hand the challenges the team is facing.

"Working within a culture that's not the same as theirs at home, seeing some of the devastation that's taken place that you might not see on a daily basis,” said Rohaley. “And the level of impacts from those issues varies greatly with experience, whether it’s your first trip or you’re experienced.”

The Task Force has responded to several major disasters recently, including the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami.

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, based in Ojai, California, said the six Canine-Firefighter Search Teams were trained by the Foundation.


 Two of the six California search dog teams headed for Nepal to assist in earthquake recovery efforts. Click the image for additional information.