LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Firefighters from the Los Angeles County Fire Department have been taken off alert to go to Ecuador in the aftermath of the earthquake that killed at least 238 people.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the central Ecuador coast Saturday, leveling buildings and breaking up roadways, according to news reports. A national state of emergency was declared Sunday.
Los Angeles County firefighters were on standby to assist in the rescue efforts, but the call to get to an airport did not arrive so they were ordered to stand down, said Dispatch Supervisor Miguel Ornelas.
Search dogs, their handlers and other specialized crews from Los Angeles and Fairfax County, Virginia, are often sent by the U.S. government to the sites of overseas quakes.
In 2015, the teams arrived in Nepal three days after a devastating quake there, and the L.A. crews pulled a teenager alive from rubble five days after he became trapped.