MATHER, Calif. (KTXL) — California is helping the search and rescue effort after a tornado collapsed a candle factory in Kentucky.
At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Gov. Gavin Newsom approved Sunday the deployment of urban search and rescue personnel to the disaster zone.
The deadly tornado tore through six states overnight leaving authorities to pick up the pieces.
Brian Marshall, the fire and rescue chief for the California Office of Emergency Services, told FOX40 they are sending two members as part of the FEMA urban search and rescue team.
One of those members is a firefighter from the Sacramento area.
“These team members from California are going to respond in support of the urban search and rescuers,” Marshall said.
The members picked are specialists in helping find people trapped beneath the aftermath of natural disasters. These tornadoes left a trail of destruction stretching more than 200 miles.
“As days go on, survivability dwindles. They are on the ground for 14 days, and it could be longer depending on what the specific mission is,” Marshall explained.
These are the same teams that are deployed to other natural disasters, like earlier this year when a condominium building collapsed just outside of Miami.
Marshall said if there is a similar disaster in California, such as an earthquake, these teams would be available to help local and regional search and rescue teams.
“We’re fortunate, there’s 28 teams across the nation. We have eight here in California,” Marshall said.
Overall, FEMA has deployed a 70-person team for this mission.
Cal OES said they will continue to monitor if they need to send more resources from the California teams to help with the recovery effort.