MENLO PARK - Two members of a Menlo Park-based California Urban Search and Rescue Task Force deployed today to Washington State to assist with the search and recovery effort at a Snohomish County mud slide.

The team members, Division Chief Frank Fraone and Rob Patterson, are deploying as part of a 20-person support team made up of Urban Search and Rescue team members from across the country, according to Menlo Park Fire Chief Harold Shapelhouman.

Members of Task Force 3, which is sponsored by the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, had just deployed last week to Achorage, Alaska for a two-day training exercise after being asked to fill in at the last minute for Washington State teams already occupied with search and rescue operations at home, Schapelhouman said.

"The team hasn't seen this much activity since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and we haven't seen this many K-9 assets drawn from around the nation since the Space Shuttle Discovery tragedy in 2003, Schapelhouman said.

News reports today indicate the death toll in the March 22 mudslide in Oso, Washington, north of Seattle.



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