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Report from Japan: Virginia & California teams on the ground.


My friend Ron Gardner (a former and great TV news anchor) in Idaho posted the above video on his Facebook page today. It is one of the many videos from Japan that gives you the close-up ground view as the tsunami obliterated towns. It gives you an idea of the task ahead for the search and rescue teams from the U.S. They are now in Japan. Firegeezer has a bunch more videos for you.

Below are some videos, courtesy of, of the arrival of Virginia Task Force 1 (VATF-1 out of Fairfax County) and California Task Force 2 (CATF-2 out of Los Angeles County) in Japan. There they have met up with a British team. (Note: I am aware the audio on the last two videos is out of synch. It was fed to that way.)  

Here is some information contained in a press release from the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department:

The team arrived at Misawa Air Base, Sunday, March 13, 2011, by commercial aircraft.  Approximately 31 tons of equipment and supplies, including four inflatable boats, was transported separately by military airlift.

The self-contained, heavy task force of 74 personnel has technical search and rescue specialists, search and rescue canines, structural engineers, a medical component consisting of physicians and paramedics, and other critical support personnel.  VATF-1 will travel to Ofunato, a seaport city of approximately 41,000, and establish a base of operations. 

While enroute to Japan, VATF-1 stopped in Los Angeles, California, and joined with California Task Force 2 (CATF-2) for the trip to Misawa Air Base. Both teams will be working under the direction of the Tokyo Fire Department.

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