Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department
4100 Chain Bridge Rd, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Phone: 703-246-3801, TTY: 711 and Fax:703-385-1687
Duty PIO (Weekends/After-hours): 703-877-3702
News Release 10-05
Date: January 13, 2010
Virginia Task Force 1 (VATF-1), Fairfax County's urban search and rescue team was activated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Tuesday evening, January 12, 2010, to the earthquake near Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
The task force is composed of 72 personnel, 6 search and rescue canines, search and technical rescue personnel, physicians, paramedics, structural engineers, other support personnel, and approximately 48 tons of rescue equipment and supplies. The team is self-sustaining for approximately 14 days.
The task force left from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department's Academy at 8:15 a.m., January 13, 2010. The team will depart from Dulles International Airport late morning today.
The task force deployed to the Haitian town of Petionville, near the capital of Port-au-Prince for a school collapse in November of 2008. The task force has also deployed nationally to the Oklahoma City Bombing, The Pentagon, Hurricanes Katrina and Isabel. Additionally, they have deployed internationally to the bombing in Kenya, earthquakes in Turkey, Taiwan, and Iran.
Additionally, as a part of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, the task force maintains constant operational readiness, and is a local resource for residents of Fairfax County.
**Note: A recent video of Virginia Task Force 1 in action can be seen on Fairfax County Cable Channel 16 and can be found under the heading "Fire and Rescue Digest."
For more information, call Daniel L. Schmidt or Captain I Randal Bittinger, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, 703-246-3801 and TTY: 711. Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request.