New Jersey's elite urban search and rescue team deployed to Florida on Thursday to help with rescue and recovery efforts one week after a 12-story beachfront condominium building came crashing down.
New Jersey Task Force 1 sent 70 members who specialize in 21 technically skilled positions and 10 ground support personnel. It is the unit's eighth deployment under FEMA since 2016. Their initial deployment is for two weeks, though authorities have suspended the recovery effort for the time being over concerns about the structural integrity of the part of the building that is still standing.
The New Jersey team's past experience with structural collapses includes the Twin Towers in the Sept. 11 attacks, the Tropicana Hotel 's parking garage and the Hackensack parking garage.
Crews in Surfside, Florida, were entering their second week of searching for survivors in the rubble left when Champlain Towers South pancaked.
Florida Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis has said there is a need for mental health resources to treat rescue workers for post-traumatic stress disorder.
The bodies of two children were recovered a day ago, bringing the total number of confirmed dead in the Surfside condo collapse to 18 while nearly 150 people are still unaccounted for.