Task Force 3 members reflect on Surfside condo collapse one year later

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla.  — It’s almost been one year for the reason that 12-story Champlain Towers South condo collapsed. On Thursday, first responders from the Tampa Bay space mirrored on that day and the way they practice to deal with these tragedies.

The condo collapsed within the early morning hours of June 24, burying victims beneath tons of rubble. Rescuers spent weeks fastidiously and diligently digging by way of the pile. 98 folks had been killed.

“We were trained for it, but when you got there, and the sights and sounds and smells and the amount of people and the kind of organized chaos that was around, it was a little overwhelming,” stated Dusty Mascaro.

Mascaro is a part of Task Force 3, which is made up of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, Tampa Fire Rescue, and St. Pete Fire Rescue. Task Force 3 was deployed to the Surfside collapse.

“Once you kind of went behind the part of the building that was still standing and you saw the magnitude of that part of the building on the ground, that’s kind of when it hit you. That’s kind of when you knew that there was a lot of work that needed to be done,” stated Mascaro.

Mascaro defined there have been a variety of transferring elements to your complete operation.

Dennis Jones, Fire Chief of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, stated they break up their staff in half: 12 hours on, 12 hours off, working across the clock.

“We sent our team down immediately, 72 members,” stated Jones. (*3*)

On Thursday, crews gave a better take a look at a few of their tools and the processes they undergo to deal with conditions like this, displaying the quantity of labor that goes into these technical rescues.

“There’s always a ready team up. They’re ready to go. They know they’re on the roster,” stated Jones. “If it happened today, we know who’s ready to go, and we send that team out within two hours.”

The County stated the 72 members of Task Force 3 had been deployed for seven days to the Surfside collapse.

“When you get back to your tent or when you come home, you squeeze the wife a little tighter. You spend a little extra time with the kid,” stated Mascaro.

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