Ohio Task Force One: Surfside rescue efforts are going 'faster...more efficient'

Surfside condo
Posted at 5:35 AM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 07:22:45-04

SURFSIDE, Fla. — An 80-person team from Ohio Task Force One went to Surfside two weeks ago to help with rescue efforts at the collapsed condo building, and they said the operation is running more smoothly now than when they arrived.

Officials with the Dayton, Ohio-based urban search and rescue team said demolishing the remainder of the partially collapsed condo building is the reason search efforts are really starting to pick up.

Demolition crews used explosives to bring down the rest of the structure Sunday night. The rescue crews were given the all-clear not long after the high-rise came tumbling down.

“It opened up some areas that they were previously not able to search because we considered them exclusionary zones that were simply not safe enough to be searched," Phil Sinewe, task force public information officer, said. "Things are moving a lot faster now, much more efficient."

Now, teams are working their 12-hour shifts more safely and efficiently in a collapse that some officials are calling a "mini World Trade Center."

"The biggest thing about this operation is, this is about as dangerous as you want it to get," Sinewe said. "And it’s mentally very taxing.”