Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen will honor the 100-plus members and search dogs of the Fairfax County Urban, Search, & Rescue Team, Fairfax County, Va., on Tuesday, June 27 at 10 a.m. at the Pentagon in a ceremony to recognize their professional emergency response capability for national and international disaster search and rescue. The team is a highly-trained group of men and women who specialize in search, rescue, emergency medicine, and structural engineering.
"On several critical occasions, the Fairfax County Team has joined the Department of Defense in an important mission -- to help save the lives of American citizens and those of our international neighbors," said Cohen. "These are special people whose dedicated service and sacrifice deserve our thanks. It is important that we let them know that they serve well above and beyond the call of their duties each time they undertake this demanding mission."
In its 14-year history, the team has come to the aid of Americans and other neighbors worldwide in Oklahoma City; Nairobi, Kenya; Izmit and Duzce, Turkey; Taiwan and numerous other locations.
When the team accepts an approved mission at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency or United States Agency for International Development, they pack their gear and typically deploy aboard a commercial or Department of Defense aircraft.
Team members are local residents of several cities and communities in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and Delaware.
News representatives interested in arranging interviews or contacts with local residents may call Dan Schmidt, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue at (703)-246-3801.
To cover the ceremony, plan to be at the Pentagon River Entrance at 9:40 on June 27. For parking or audiovisual information, please call Terry Mitchell (703) 695-0192. For other information, please call Lt. Col. Mike Milord, DoD Public Affairs at (703) 695-2528.