Search and Rescue Operations Following the Northridge Earthquake: January 17, 1994 Los Angeles, California   [open pdf - 398KB]

"This report is part of a series of reports on technical rescue incidents across the United States. Technical rescue has become increasingly recognized as an important element in integrated emergency response. Technical rescue generally includes the following rescue disciplines: confined space rescue, rope rescue, Trench/colapse rescue, ice/water rescue, and agricultural arid industrial rescue. The intent of these reports is to share information about recent technical rescue incidents with rescuers across the country. The investigation reports, such its this one, provide detailed information about the magnitude and nature of the incidents themselves; how the response to the incidents was carried out and managed; the impact of these incidents on emergency rcsponders and the emergency response systems in the community; and the lessons learned. [...]At 0431 hours on January 17, 1994, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck the Los Angeles area. The epicenter was located within the Northridge area of the San Fernando Valley, approximately 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles (see Appendix A). Many experts believe that because the earthquake occurred on a holiday morning, casualties were significantly lower than they would have been if the quake had happened at any other time. Over the following days, several aftershocks occurred that continued to damage structures as well as jeopardize the safety of rescue personnel. For firefighters and other emergency responders, the Northridge Earthquake was another in a long line of disasters that have challenged their resolve in recent years. Southern California has been walloped by major wildland fires, floods, mud slides, earthquakes, and riots."

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U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/
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