SAN FRANCISCO --
Amid heaps of concrete and rubble, city Fire Department officials taught Marines and sailors at a Treasure Island facility how to find and retrieve disaster victims Oct. 8.
The service members, who are participating in the city’s 2010 Fleet Week, sailed into San Francisco Bay Oct. 6 from San Diego aboard USS Makin Island.
Should San Francisco ever need military assistance following a natural disaster, the search-and-rescue training gave the 45 service members hands-on experience intended to prepare them to respond.
“I’ll be able to work in a timely manner if casualties are waiting to be rescued,” said Phoenix native Lance Cpl. Anthony J. Arcieri, 22, a machine gunner with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, the ground combat element of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s special-purpose Marine air-ground task force during Fleet Week.
Firefighters with Engine 5 and Rescue 1 taught ropes and pulleys, and cribbing and shoring, all which showed how to build small structures used to hold up collapsed building walls.
“The missions of a Marine air-ground task force include disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, so if something were to happen, we would know how to respond,” said Gunnery Sgt. Robert L. Lytle, the unit’s civil affairs chief and an Asheville, N.C., native.
Marines and sailors trained side by side, evaluating situations and deciding on time-efficient methods – fundamentals to search-and-rescue, according to Mark Kearney, the Fire Department’s assistant deputy chief for homeland security.
This was a great training experience for the Navy and Marine Corps team, and it gave the military and non-military a chance to work together, Kearney said.