100 members of National Guard to join search and recovery

More than 100 members of National Guard units from across the state, including an engineering unit from the Snohomish armory, have been asked to provide assistance for the search and recovery efforts at the Oso landslide.

Some 50 soldiers from an engineering group in Snohomish will assist the 50-member search and extraction team that was previously dispatched, said Karina Shagren, communications director for the Washington Military Department.

In addition, a 16-member fatality search-and-rescue team from the Colorado National Guard will arrive this weekend to assist the 11-member fatality team of the Washington National Guard. Members of these teams work with medical examiners to identify victims.

“They will do supplemental work so our folks can work in shifts and we can keep the search and extraction team there longer,” Shagren said. “They train hard and are dedicated to public service.”

In addition to the group based in Snohomish, two refueling teams from Spokane, two decontamination teams from the east and west sides of the state, and chaplains and medics are being deployed, Shagren said.

All these groups were expected to arrive on scene today.

A call went out Thursday night for additional fatality search and recovery teams, and a group from the Colorado National Guard responded. “There are just 27 of these National Guard teams across the nation,” Shagren said. “They’re coming to support the team already in place.”

Meanwhile, Portland-based Medical Teams International is delivering supplies to families, rescue workers and volunteers. This includes 300 kits that include toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo and soap.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

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