Palo Alto Weekly Online Edition

Uploaded: Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2001,10:50 a.m.

Menlo Park rescuers head to New York
Search-and-rescue team expects long, arduous task

Capt. Harold Schapelhouman, the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force leader, says goodbye to Menlo Park Division Chief Paula Alloro early this morning as the 62-member group headed to New York City.

With darkness still blanketing their station, Menlo Park firefighters boarded chartered buses to head off to New York City to help sift through the World Trade Center wreckage.

At 5:55 Wednesday morning, the buses pulled away from the Menlo Park fire station on Chilco Street. Family members had already said goodbye to their loved ones so they weren't at the station.

The buses, decked with flags, will drive the members of the Urban Search and Rescue Team to Travis Air Force Base where they will board a military plane for New York.

Firefighters from Menlo Park along with those from 12 other fire agencies in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and several civilian specialists make up the 62-member team.

On Friday, two flatbed semi trucks carried the team's 8-ton equipment cache to Travis.

The group expects to be deployed several times, as the cleanup of the World Trade Center is expected to take six months.

Typical days will probably involve 12-hour shifts, with transportation and meals accounting for the rest, as well as minimal sleep time.


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