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Irene Hutchinson, 57, shows her appreciation to California Task Force 5 Search and Rescue team member Mark Mollet, of Lake Forest, who brought relief supplies to Hutchinson at her home in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana in September, 2005. Hutchinson and her family nearly died during Katrina when water flowed over the roof of her home. Members of her family were stuck for several hours in a boat in the top of this tree during the worst of the storm. 


Monday morning California Task Force 5 Search and Rescue team members Mark Mollet, of Lake Forest, and Dave Boyd, of Murietta, made a special run from their base of operation, out across the Mississippi River to St. Bernard Parish. They had befriended Hutchinson's family that weathered the flood waters of Katrina and have been living on their property every since in a virtual ghost town. They brought ice, clean water, food, and more importantly, a caring and listening ear. The team helped connect the family by cell phone to their relatives that had not heard from them and didn't know their fate. Their home was lifted up by the flood , spun around and moved 50 feet from its foundation.

Search and Rescue Teams Have a Life-and-Death Job, but Often Lack Newest Gear, Training

Despite the grim topic of search and – hopefully – rescue, there is something comforting walking past massive stacks of equipment ready to save lives. Orange County Fire Authority Deputy Chief Mike Petro scans orange crates, nods toward an open black case big enough for a rocket launcher. Instead, there is a camera housed in a black steel tube connected to a long cable, earphones, more cable. “We can core a hole through a concrete slab,” Petro says, “put a…

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OCFA heroes flight

2 Orange County Fire Authority Paramedics Save Man Who Stopped Breathing in Flight

2 ORANGE COUNTY FIRE AUTHORITY PARAMEDICS SAVE MAN WHO STOPPED BREATHING IN FLIGHT LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Two firefighter paramedics from the Orange County Fire Authority helped save the life of a man in his 70s who stopped breathing on a flight. Donovan George and Alex Van are both canine handlers and are part of a FEMA response task force. They were on United Airlines Flight 333 with their canines headed to Houston from John Wayne Airport Friday morning for…

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The California Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 5 prepares to leave for Haiti late Wednesday night.

O.C. Firefighters Preparing to Leave for Haiti

An urban search and rescue team from Orange County is preparing to leave to Haiti after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake rattled the tiny Caribbean island nation Tuesday, officials said. Tens of thousands are feared dead as hospitals and other buildings collapsed, trapping people and disrupting communications in the impoverished nation. California Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 5 is one of 28 in the nation that responds during national or regional emergencies like earthquakes, terrorist attacks, hurricanes or other natural…

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huricane-gustav

O.C. Firefighters on Their Way to Meet Hurricane Gustav

Emergency personnel across the country are gearing up for hurricane Gustav, expected to hit the gulf coast early next week, and 37 firefighters from Orange County will be among those prepared for the impact. This morning, firefighters from Orange County received a FEMA request for aid as Gulf officials keep an eye on Gustav, a tropical storm that was upgraded to a category 1 hurricane today. Firefighters from the Orange County Fire Authority, and Santa Ana, Orange and Anaheim fire…

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CA Task Force 5

We hope that your visit to the CA TF-5 website is enjoyable and informative. You will find interesting information on the FEMA US&R Program, CA TF-5 specifics, and links to our Partner Agencies. If you are a CA TF-5 member, you will have access to information on valuable training opportunities and Task Force activities.

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Task Force Status: Deployable