NewsLocal News


Baltimore County Firefighters head to Surfside to help in aftermath of last week's condo collapse

Baltimore County Fire deploys firefighters to Carolinas to assist with Hurricane Florence
Posted at 3:14 PM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-01 15:14:45-04

BALTIMORE — Four members of the Baltimore County Fire Department are on their way to Surfside, Florida to help in the aftermath of last Thursday's condominium collapse.

Fire Captain Ethan Johnson, Lieutenants Davie Gouak and Brandon Watkins, and FADO Shawn Drees are part of a specialized Federal Emergency Management Agency task force called Pennsylvania Task Force #1.

Johnson based out of Westview Station #13 while Drees, Gouak and Watkins are normally assigned to Texas Station #17 in Cockeysville.

Florida officials temporarily paused search and rescue efforts overnight Thursday, after more structural concerns were raised.

There is no current timetable when search efforts will resume.

The operation could be hampered even more by the expected arrival of Tropical Storm Elsa on Monday.

READ MORE: Rescue efforts in Surfside paused, officials concerned about further collapse of structure

The current death toll remains at 18, with another 145 people still missing.

Rescuers pulled six bodies from the wreckage on Wednesday, including two children ages 4 and 10.

No survivors have been found since last Thursday.

SEE ALSO: 2018 report by Maryland engineering firm highlights past issues with collapsed Surfside condos
This is the latest emergency the Task Force has responded to. In the past, they were called to Ground Zero in New York following the 9/11 attacks, and to the Gulf Coast during Hurricane Katrina.

Follow the task force on Twitter @PATaskForce1.