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Central Florida’s search and rescue task forces join effort in Surfside

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Task Force 8 deployed Sunday for Surfside. Photo: MCFR via Facebook

Urban search and rescue task forces from Central Florida have joined the perilous around-the-clock effort at the collapsed condo building in Surfside.

Task Force 4 deployed from Orlando on Friday and Task Force 8 left Ocala on Sunday.

Task Force 8 is a 29-member team with firefighters from Gainesville, Ocala and Marion County.

It’s joining an effort that includes all the teams in Florida, plus national and international assistance.

Here’s Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis: “They’re working 12 hours at a time, midnight to noon, noon to midnight. They come from Tallahassee. They come from Orlando. They come from Tampa. They come from Israel. They come from Mexico. They come from Jacksonville. They come from Fort Myers. They come and they leave their families to work around the clock. Their reward is the lives they save.”

He says it’s the largest ever deployment of task force resources in the state that isn’t for a hurricane.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.