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FEMA activates Fairfax urban search, rescue team

Monday - 10/29/2012, 12:57pm  ET

Members of the Fairfax County urban search and rescue team board a bus to head north ahead of Hurricane Sandy. (WTOP/Hank Silverberg)

CHANTILLY, Va. - The federal government has activated Fairfax County's elite urban search and rescue team for deployment to deal with the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Monday sent the 80-person unit to Fort Dix. N.J., which will serve as a staging area.

The team, known as Virginia Task Force One, has deployed all over the world in response to earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

The task force is adding water rescue specialists to its regular team of firefighters, paramedics, structural engineers and search-and-rescue specialists.

The federal government funds the task force's operations.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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