Utah Task Force 1 gives insight into search & rescue efforts in Turkey

Feb 7, 2023, 6:10 PM | Updated: Feb 13, 2023, 2:50 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Two heavy-duty Urban Search and Rescue teams from the U.S. are on their way to Turkey to help rescue survivors from the rubble.

The two international teams, from Fairfax, Virginia, and Los Angeles, California, will give hope to the Turkish people in a very stressful environment.

Those teams are similar in makeup to Utah Task Force 1, which has the same expertise in collapsed building search and rescue.

“They are trained to the same elite level that our type one urban search and rescue teams are trained,” explained Capt. Keith Bevan, a task force leader with Utah Task Force 1

Two teams of 60 to 80 members with similar skills and tools as the members of Utah Task Force 1 will soon be looking for survivors in collapsed buildings in Turkey.

“They are going to perform rescue missions as rapidly and as safely as they can, and that’s the big mission for them right now,” Bevan said.

The two American teams will join more than 40 international search and rescue teams that are also responding to the call for help. And the top priority right now?

“To identify areas that need rapid search to determine loss or people that are missing,” Bevan said. “Then they’ll start focusing in on those search and rescue operations to where areas are confirmed that people are missing and they hear things.”

Rescuers scramble in Turkey, Syria after quake kills 4,000

It’s similar to the work some members of Task Force 1 performed in Puerto Rico three years ago when it was rocked by an earthquake.

“You can hear them. You know they are trapped. They’re unable to get out. It’s extremely stressful on rescue operations to work that long and that far into a building,” the captain expressed.

The search and rescue teams are comprised of structural engineers, canine handlers, physicians, heavy rescue specialists, paramedics, and personnel who handle the logistics.

“We go there to make a difference,” Bevan said. “We go there to find survivors that are unable to extricate themselves.“

He said the work is exhausting, physically and emotionally. As aftershocks continue, rescue workers are constantly concerned about the instability of the buildings around them.

“It’s in a very vulnerable phase now, and we want it to stay as secure as it possibly can so we can get in, perform that rescue operation, remove those survivors. But there’s a lot that goes on with that, and it’s very stressful.“

The task force leader said most of the teams will be there for at least two weeks, and some of them will stay longer.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Search & Rescues

Buckskin Gulch in Kane County, Utah. (Steven Law)...
Eliza Pace

One dead, one missing, 11 rescued in Buckskin Gulch

A man is dead and one other man remains missing in Buckskin Gulch after floodwaters entered the slot canyon. Eleven other people have been rescued so far.
10 days ago
(Washington County Sheriff's Office)...
Eliza Pace

Man in serious condition after surviving fall over 15 feet into slot canyon

A Washington City police officer is in serious condition after falling 15-20 feet in a slot canyon.
11 days ago
The downed helicopter at Strawberry Reservoir (Wasatch County Search & Rescue)...
Michael Houck

Search and rescue crews respond to helicopter crash and 2 snowmobile accidents

Wasatch County Search & Rescue crews had a busy day on Saturday after responding to a helicopter crash and two different snowmobile accidents.
12 days ago
The North Davis Fire District doing training exercises to prepare for saving people trapped in the ...
Michael Houck and Lauren Steinbrecher

4 people fall through ice in Clearfield pond in 1 day, no injuries

North Davis Fire District is warning people not to step on the ice at Steed Pond in Centerville after four people fell through Saturday.
12 days ago
FILE - Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. (Photo by Harvey Meston/Getty Images)...
Michael Houck

Massachusetts man dead after collapsing at Arches National Park

A 71-year-old man died while hiking in Arches National Park after collapsing to the ground with his family Friday afternoon.
27 days ago
First responders on the scene of the fatal fall at the Hurricane Overlook (Courtesy: Chaice Moyes)...
Michael Houck

Teen killed after climbing accident on Hurricane Overlook

A 17-year-old boy died after falling off a cliff while climbing the Hurricane Overlook Saturday evening.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Utah Task Force 1 gives insight into search & rescue efforts in Turkey