Local Search and Rescue Team Members Return Home from Puerto Rico

ROSEVILLE -- A 27-member Urban Search and Rescue team with California Task Force 7 returned Saturday after aiding cities in Puerto Rico for the past 10 days.

Crew members from six local agencies, including the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, West Sacramento Fire Department and Sacramento Fire Department, were sent to Puerto Rico Sept. 20.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Captain Brian Gonsalves said their job there was to gather information and save lives by getting into the cities that had not been accessed since Hurricane Maria made landfall.

This was Gonsalves' first deployment in his 9 years with USAR.

"It was somewhat emotional, somewhat overwhelming at times to be in that situation and be able to provide some help," he told FOX40.

His daughter Callie sent two stuffed animals with her father to Puerto Rico so that he could gift them to children stuck in the wake of the hurricane.

Callie and her mother anxiously waited for Gonsalves to return, and he did so just in time to celebrate his 11-year wedding anniversary. But not before surprising Callie in the early morning hours at their home.