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Florida Task Force 1 and 2 laid off after a month-long post on Surfside apartment collapse site – CBS Miami

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Surfside (CBS Miami) — Highly trained urban search and rescue teams, deployed at the site of the Surfside apartment collapse four weeks ago, were laid off Friday and headed home.

The Florida Task Force II is made up of dozens of first responders from more than 20 counties in South Florida. It was activated shortly after the collapse to aid Task Force One, led by the Miami-Dade County Fire Department. Task Force One also ended its month-long deployment on Friday after participating in search, rescue and recovery efforts at the collapsed Champlain Towers South building.

Read more: Structural engineer warns Collins Avenue is unsafe to reopen after Surfside collapse

Members of search and rescue teams are described as among the best and most experienced in the world and have been dispatched to disaster sites across the United States and the world.

In 1985, the Miami-Dade team rushed to Mexico City, where an 8.1-magnitude earthquake destroyed homes and buildings, killing about 5,000 people. A decade later, the department sent employees to Oklahoma City after the truck bombing of a federal building killed 168 people.

Then to earthquakes in Haiti, Turkey, Taiwan and Colombia.

READ MORE: Low turnout, 6 boats, leaves Miami for Cuba after Homeland Security warning

The 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 sent Florida crews to the World Trade Center.

There have been other tragedies at home, including the collapse in 2012 of a parking building under construction at Miami-Dade College that killed four workers. But perhaps nothing has done as much damage as this latest disaster at Surfside.

No one has been pulled alive from the rubble since the early hours after the building fell, despite working non-stop 12-hour shifts.

More news: Fourth stimulus check: Will there be another relief push?

At least 97 people died and all that remained of the Champlain Building were the walls of an underground parking garage, around a hollow foundation.

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