City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # CM:083117
City of Long Beach Deploys Swiftwater Rescue Task Force to Provide Support to Those Impacted by Hurricane Harvey
Jake Heflin
Firefighter/Paramedic and Public Information Officer
Long Beach Fire Department

This afternoon, the Long Beach Fire Department deployed a 15 member Swiftwater Rescue Task Force to assist those impacted by the severe weather and flooding associated with Hurricane Harvey. Members of the Task Force are specifically trained in technical search operations, water based rescue techniques, and other skills that are in critical demand during this incident of national significance.

“I spoke with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner today and pledged that the City of Long Beach would do everything it could to assist the people of Houston,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “I'm really proud of our Fire Department and the rescue team heading out today.”

Long Beach Fire personnel will be deployed for an unknown duration based on the evolving needs of the incident. This request was made through the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) as part of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) which is a mutual aid agreement between all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam. EMAC was ratified by the US Congress in 1996 under Public Law 104-321.

Through EMAC, states are able to share resources with one another during times of emergency/disaster. In the case of this deployment, the Long Beach Fire Department Swiftwater Rescue Task Force was one of two teams selected by CalOES for this mission.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families that are dealing with the profound loss and tragedy associated with Hurricane Harvey. We stand ready to assist those in need,” said Fire Chief Mike DuRee.

The Task Force will travel to Texas over land and is estimated to arrive within the next 24 hours. They will bring their own rescue equipment with them via trailers.

The Swiftwater Rescue Task Force consists of two rescue teams. A Task Force Leader, a Task Force Leader Trainee, and a Search Team Manager oversees the teams. Within each team there is a Boat Operator, Rescue Swimmer, Technical Search Specialist, Logistics Specialist, and a Medical Specialist. A Ropes and Rigging Specialist and Communications Specialist are shared between both teams to maximize the capabilities of the task force.

Additional updates relating to the deployment of the Long Beach Fire Department Swiftwater Rescue Task Force will be provided via the Long Beach Fire Department social media channels including Twitter and Facebook. Please follow us on Twitter @LBFD and on Facebook at


Task Force Fleet

About Long Beach Fire Department

The mission of the Long Beach Fire Department is to protect lives, property, and the environment, improving the quality of life and safety of the community and our visitors. Visit us at, "Like" us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram.