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L.A. rescuers readying for possible deployment to Chile earthquake scene

March 1, 2010 |  4:12 pm
A specialized rescue task force from Los Angeles was preparing Monday afternoon for possible deployment to earthquake-ravaged Chile.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department's heavy-rescue task force includes 74 firefighters, paramedics, structural engineers, emergency-room physicians and other experts trained in finding and rescuing victims from collapsed structures and buildings. The team was assembling at a staging area in Pacoima, the Fire Department said.

The department said the same task force was sent to Haiti, where it helped rescue victims in the aftermath of the deadly temblor that struck the Caribbean island nation in January.

The task force is a self-contained rescue unit that responds to disasters with 70,000 pounds of sophisticated search-and-rescue devices and medical equipment.

The magnitude 8.8 quake in Chile left more than 700 people dead and caused widespread damage throughout the nation.

-- Robert J. Lopez