Since 1991, the South Florida Urban Search and Rescue Team (FL-TF2) has been serving the national community in times of need. The team is designed to respond to a variety of disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, storms and tornadoes, floods, dam failures, technological accidents, terrorist activities and hazardous materials releases where victims may be trapped, lost or injured. With only 3 1/2 hours notice, this nationally recognized group could be on its way with 80 highly trained members and thousands of dollars worth of specialized tools and equipment to a community in need.
The City of Miami is the sponsoring agency of the Team, providing administrative staffing, warehouse space and other infrastructure needs; however, the team is also composed of experts from 23 additional fire and police departments as well as professionals from the civilian ranks.
Each member plays an integral role in the Search and Rescue process. The team is deployed with Doctors, Structural Engineers, Search and Rescue canines and their handlers as well as Heavy Rescue Specialists, Logistics Specialists and Communications Specialists, together making up a multi-talented force ready to meet the most demanding Search and Rescue challenge.
The city of Coral Springs currently has 18 members of the fire department on FLTF2. All members of the team need to have the following TRT classes. Rope 1, 2 Confined Space, Trench Rescue, VMR Ops & Tech, Building Collapse and Emergency Shoring, Swift Water Rescue. FLTF2 is set up as Red & White and Blue teams for deployments during hurricane season Red and White teams rotate on one month off one month. The blue team is set up with members that are missing a class or two. The goal of FLTF2 is to have all three teams (Read, White, and Blue) deployable in the near future.
FLTF2 have been deployed to the following disasters:
- Aug. 92 Hurricane Andrew
- Sept. 92 Nicaragua (title wave)
- Oct. 95 Hurricane Opal
- July 96 Atlanta (Olympics)
- Nov. 96 Umberto Vidal Puerto Rico
- Sept .11 2001 World Trade Center
- Aug./Sept. 04 Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne
- Sept. 05 Hurricane Katrina (Gulf Port Mississippi)
- Sept. 05 Hurricane Katrina (New Orleans)
- Sept. 08 Hurricane Ike
- Jan. 2010 Haiti Earthquake