The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services pre-positioned nine Swiftwater Search and Rescue teams throughout the state as a precautionary measure with another significant storm pounding Northern California. The teams are currently staged in the counties of Butte, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, Stanislaus, and Merced.
The pre-positioning of these specialized resources is a proactive measure to protect lives and provide rapid response to requests for assistance from local government during the current storms. Teams are deployed as part of the Cal OES Fire & Rescue Mutual Aid system, which is a neighbor helping neighbor sharing of resources.
“The pre-deployment is a move by Cal OES to be proactive in our ability to protect lives in the event that the resources are needed and to decrease the response time for specialized resources that we have available,” said Brian Woodbeck, Cal OES Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief of Operations.
Swiftwater Search and Rescue teams consist of 14 fire department-based rescuers and command element with specialized capabilities such as powered and non-powered inflatable rescue boat handling, flood search methodology, night search operations, mud and debris flow rescue, and specialized tools for locating and rescuing people trapped by flood waters.
Fire department teams are from the following departments:
- Los Angeles City Fire
- Los Angeles County Fire
- Menlo Park Fire Protection District
- Oakland City Fire Department
- Sacramento City Fire Department
- Ventura County Fire Department
- Marin County Fire Department
- Long Beach City Fire Department
- Stockton City Fire Department