MIAMI - MIAMI - South Florida first responders assisting local, state, and National Guard members on the west coast have had a busy couple of days.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Raied "Ray" Jadallah, a member of the county's Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 1, posted on Twitter that on Thursday they rescued 42 trapped residents on the barrier islands.
"Fortunately, no serious injuries to report," he wrote.
He said on Friday, they were back on the barrier islands to complete search and rescue operations at the remaining homes.
On Wednesday, as Hurricane Ian began to lift, the city of Miami Florida Task Force 2 deployed an 18-member swift water team to help those trapped in their homes due to flooding. More than 20 people were rescued.
Thursday FL-TF2 team members were sent to Marco Island, Island Park, Punta Gorda and Fort Myers to conduct rapid damage assessment and rescue operations.
With the arrival of the entire team, they transitioned to search and rescue operations at Fort Myers Beach.
On Friday, CBS4's Peter D'Oench followed team members as they and their rescue dogs searched for survivors. In their first 24 hours, they rescued 60 people. But sadly, they also discovered some people who had not survived while trying to ride out the storm in their homes.
They also provided medical treatment and took one person suffering from a medical emergency to a local hospital where they were listed as stable.
Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban said, "A lot of what we have seen resembles what we saw after Hurricane." He said the team was working hard to make sure people were safe.
Capt. Ignatius Carroll Jr. said, "We have been through this before and our mission is to save lives."
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez followed the team and said "They are incredible." He said the team members worked tirelessly and were very methodical as they were faced with many challenges dealing with "death and destruction."
Beleaguered residents of Fort Myers Beach said they were grateful for the team's work.
"They are great," said John Gelois. "They care about us more than anyone else."
Linda and Bob Beasley both called the team a "blessing."
Bob Beasley said, "It's total destruction on the island and I know we would return the favor if it happened to them as would everyone in Florida."
Carroll said there was no time limit on the team's stay in the area. He said they would be there as long as they are needed.
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