California Rescue Crews Gear Up to Help as Hurricane Lane Moves Toward Hawaii

SACRAMENTO -- As people prepare for Hurricane Lane, crews here in California have been gearing up to head over to Hawaii for emergency response.

Governor Jerry Brown approved a FEMA request to send two urban search and rescue task force teams from California to help in rescue efforts.

When it comes to training, first responders with the Sacramento City Fire Department say they're constantly preparing.

Even K-9 Bear, the newest member of the task force, stood by to assist with rescue efforts for Hurricane Lane.

"Bear is a special K-9. His job is to, regardless of the disaster, find those who are trapped and can’t be seen," said Sacramento City Firefighter Paul Januario.

There are 28 special task forces across the country, with eight in California. They're all on standby to help as first responders, many including civilians, offer their help.

"The California Task Force 7, they contract with civilians to provide emergency physicians and structural engineers," said Ken Cusano with the Folsom Fire Department.

Brown sent crews from the Menlo Park and San Diego areas trained in structural collapse, heavy rigging and specialized search to help. California emergency officials tell FOX40 those crews have already started transporting equipment and staff to assist in Hawaii.

"Once they get on the ground and they feel like they're going to need more folks, they can always deploy us and we can respond," Januario said. "It doesn’t take long to get boots on the ground."

While the crew is continuing to train just in case they're called to help, they’re hoping this latest hurricane does not cause too much damage or claim any lives, including first responders.