California Sends Urban Search & Rescue Teams to Vermont to Support Severe Flooding Response


SACRAMENTO – As Vermont braces for potentially catastrophic flooding as heavy rainfall continues, California is rapidly deploying urban search and rescue personnel to help those impacted.

At the request of Governor Gavin Newsom, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has been instructed to deploy eight members of California’s Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Forces assigned to a FEMA US&R Incident Support Team.

“Helping our neighbors across the nation is an important part of what we do in California,” said Nancy Ward, Cal OES Director. “We’re proud to lend our team of seasoned and well-trained swift water and flood rescue personnel to help in Vermont’s time of need.”

This team will assist in the coordination and support of emergency operations in the hardest hit areas, including conducting search and rescue operations.

Team members come from five State/Federal US&R Task Forces in California that are highly specialized search and rescue personnel capable of operating in swift water/flood environments.

Specialized team members heading to Vermont include personnel from the city of Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside County, Sacramento County and San Diego County.

California-based Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces have been deployed to a long list of state, national, and even international disasters including 1992 Hurricane Iniki (Hawaii), the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina (2005), the 2010 Haiti earthquake catastrophe, the 2011 Japan earthquake/tsunami disaster, the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria (2017), the 2017 Mexico City quake, the 2020 Puerto Rico earthquake, and many others.