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Local Firefighters Deploy For Rescue Mission In Nepal

PACOIMA ( — A team of Southland firefighters has been deployed to join the rescue and recovery efforts in Nepal following a devastating 7.8-Magnitude earthquake Friday.

They will depart Sunday afternoon from March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County and are expected to arrive in Kathmandu on Monday.

More than 2,500 people were killed in four different countries — Nepal, Tibet, China and India.

The tremor triggered deadly avalanches on the flanks of Mt. Everest from the quake, which hit at 11:11 p.m. California time Friday.

The California Task Force Two (CA-TF2) team has been prepping since Saturday morning at L.A. County Fire's Urban Search And Rescue Headquarters in Pacoima.

"We find people in collapsed buildings, and we try to rescue them, and then lend aid to them," said LACFD Deputy Chief John Tripp, saying the team takes specialized equipment and highly-trained personnel for the job. "The infrastructure is usually very impacted with roads that are not clear for getting around. The structures are down. And then also you have a large civilian population that's been displaced."

CA-TF2 is comprised of about 57 people, mostly from Los Angeles County, with at least one rescue dog handler from Santa Barbara County, according to L.A. County Fire. The team is always poised to respond to disasters both in Southern California and abroad. They partner with FEMA for any domestic response and the United States Agency for International Development/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance during international missions.

Team Rubicon, another rescue group known for going to areas in crisis and devastation, is also deploying to Nepal.

To donate to Team Rubicon's efforts, click here.

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