Bravest, Finest assist in Haiti relief efforts
by Shane Miller
Jan 19, 2010 | 1266 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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NYPD Deputy Inspector Robert Lukach and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly confer moments before deployment to Haiti. Lukach is the leader of the NYPD component of the 80-member joint NYPD-FDNY Urban Search and Rescue team. (Photo courtesy of NYPD)
An 80-member joint FDNY-NYPD rescue team that was dispatched to aid in the relief efforts in Haiti has been instrumental in rescuing at least four people from the devastation in Port-au-Prince.

On Sunday morning, members of the rescue team pulled two adult males and a teenage girl from the rubble of a grocery store that was on the first floor of a three-story building. They had been trapped there since the 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck about ten miles outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, January 12.

The three victims were taken to a hospital operated by the United Nations, where the girl, 13, was treated for leg injuries and the two men for undetermined injuries.

Later that day, members of the team were called to assist in ongoing rescue efforts at the scene of a hotel collapse, but were soon redirected to a home on Rue Belencourt, were witnesses were reporting that a 55-year-old man was trapped in the collapse of a four-story building.

The rescue team used a camera to locate the man, at which point Detective Randin Miller crawled into a narrow space to start an intravenous fluid line to the trapped man. Meanwhile, members of the joint task force used jackhammers and cutting tools to free the man. He, too, had been trapped in the rubble since last Tuesday.

The man was pulled from the debris, and other than suffering from dehydration was not injured.

The joint FDNY-NYPD rescue team was sent to Haiti in the days following the earthquake. They are stationed at the airport just outside Port-au-Prince, housed in tents they brought with them. The team also brought their own generators, portable showers, rescue gear, and food and water. It is unclear how long they will be in Haiti assisting in the rescue efforts.

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