Fairfax Team Pulls More Survivors From Rubble

The rescues are keeping the team's spirits alive

By Adrienne Welsch and Michelle Tetu
|  Thursday, Jun 30, 2011  |  Updated 10:12 AM EDT
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Fairfax Rescuers Save U.N. Worker in Haiti

Carol Guzy/Washington Post

The Fairfax Search and Rescue team assists in a rescue operation at the Montana Hotel.

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Local Heroes Save Lives in Haiti

In its latest rescue, the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue team saved a 29-year-old woman from a pile of rubble.
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One rescue, a glimmer of hope among a sea of sadness, is how it started. Now the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue team has managed to rescue several people from the ruins of a major hotel since an earthquake hit in Haiti. 

The team also helped check out a Silver Spring man who returned home Saturday after being trapped for 50 hours without food or water in the wreckage of a hotel, the Washington Post reported. In all, the Fairfax team has pulled 14 people from the rubble of the Montana Hotel.

In addition, they have worked with French and Spanish teams to get more people out from the ruins of the hotel. The rescues are keeping the team's spirits alive, a spokesperson says. 

A second group of 42 men and women from the Fairfax team arrived early Friday morning in the ravaged capital of Port-au-Prince. The two teams, known as "USA-1" and "USA-5," are now staying at the American Embassy amid heightened security.

The first team, which includes more than 70 members from Fairfax County, arrived in Port-Au-Prince Thursday. One of their first tasks was to search the U.N. headquarters where as many as 100 people may have died.  That's where they rescued Tarmo Joveer, a security worker who had been trapped in the building since Tuesday night. 

"It's the worst I've seen," said Sam Gray, a member of the Fairfax County rescue team. "Obviously it was pretty nice to find somebody we were able to help. Unfortunately we couldn't get to everybody." 

The team from Fairfax County brought more than 48 tons of equipment with them on this trip.  This is the crew's second time traveling to Haiti.  They were called back in 2008 after a school collapsed.  A second team from Fairfax County is also getting ready to deploy soon.

For complete coverage of the Haiti earthquake, click here.

For a list of ways you can help, click here.

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