At 12:30 a.m. on Friday, Virginia Beach Battalion Chief Mark Piland and about 70 other first responders of the Virginia Task Force 2 team began the long drive to Florida.
The team is one of FEMA's
28 national urban search and rescue teams that get called in to respond to disasters across the country.
The team - with members in areas such as Newport News
and James City County
- also worked at the Pentagon disaster site shortly after Sept. 11, 2002.Piland
said the highly trained team tries to stay focused, regardless of what types of situations and scenes they'll have to face.
"There's a human element to what we do, and we realize there are real people behind (a disaster)," he
said."But at the same time, we can't get caught up in that."Piland
said the team is prepared to stay in Florida as long as necessary.