Local search and rescue crews stand by to help Oklahoma - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Local search and rescue crews stand by to help Oklahoma

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - San Diego rescue workers are on standby to join teams already in Oklahoma. They spent today packing up so when they get the word, they'll be ready.

Heading up one team expected to be called out is Battalion Chief Chris Webber. Webber is the project manager for the federally run Urban Search and Rescue Team, known as California Task Force 8. A group ready to go anywhere - at a moment's notice to help save lives when there's a major disaster.

"It's just 24 hours of searching and rescuing and caring for the people that we found," said Webber.

Webber's team travels as a group of 80, which includes firefighters from all over the county, along with two doctors and four canines.

They've been to just about every major disaster over the past decade, and while it's tough not to let the death and destruction surrounding them - affect them - to be successful, they have to push emotions aside.

"When you're being deployed to that, you have a mission, a job to do, so you focus on that. There's a lot of hurry up and go and that occupies your mind. The job occupies your mind what you have to do so you don't get too wrapped up in the emotional part of it," explained Webber.

They travel with 14 industrial sized pallets filled with everything imaginable: from tents, batteries, kitchen supplies to coffee cups. Eighty thousand pounds of supplies to make sure they are totally self-sufficient for at least the first three to five days of their deployment.

"We can stay out as long as 21 days operating in the field," noted Webber.

Task Force 8 expects to be sent to Oklahoma soon and once they get the call to go, they have just four hours to finish packing up and head out there.

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