Oakland, Calif. - First responders who carried out urban search and rescue missions during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are back home in the East Bay after being on assignment for nearly a month.
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"In a time of need, this country really does pull together and send people from all over the place to make a difference and try to help," says Batt. Chief James Bowron of the Oakland Fire Department.
A total of 80 members from California Task Force 4, most of whom came from 18 Bay Area fire agencies, were deployed to help with everything from water rescues to clearing debris on roadways.
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"Just imagine all your belongings you have in a home, and a huge wall of water just comes through and breaks everything up and pushes your fences down," said Bowron.
More than two dozen task force members returned Friday after spending the past week driving thousands of miles, from the Florida Keys back to the Bay Area, hauling all of the equipment that was used to conduct their work. Most of the team flew back earlier in the week.
East Bay first responders return home from hurricane disaster zones
"We're able to train, we're able to prepare, and then when the disaster occurs, we're able to respond," said James Liberatore, a firefighter with the Berkeley Fire Department. Task force members will get two days of rest before reporting back to their respective fire departments for regular duty.
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