Lieutenant Winters, a seven-year-old Belgian Malinois/Shepherd died Friday after being injured during a training exercise in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Win was a part of Virginia Task Force 2. Win had been deployed five times by FEMA, including during Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti.
In a press release today, Virginia Beach Fire Department Battalion Chief Tim Riley explained how the dog was injured:
He entered through a small opening of the rubble pile, where the victim was located, when the accident occurred. A piece of concrete reinforcing wire punctured his chest cavity causing internal bleeding. Although Win was injured, he finished his search, located the victim, and laid at her side. The canine handler immediately sensed a problem and Win was quickly transported to Bay-Beach Veterinary Hospital where Team Doctor/Veterinarian Mark Honaker was unable to save Win. He died shortly after arriving at the animal hospital. Win died doing what he was trained and loved to do, performing his job to the very end.
The latest number we have on people found alive buried under earthquake rubble in Port au Prince, Haiti by Virginia Task Force 1 is 14. The hard and sometimes frustrating work by all of the USAR teams continues as the hours slip away.
In the video above is one of the survivors from the Hotel Montana. There, the crew from Fairfax County joined colleagues from France in searching for those who could still be alive. One of those they found was a neighbor from the Washington area, Rick Santos. Santos, from Silver Spring, Maryland, is the President and CEO of IMA/World Health.
Here is some more information that Fairfax County officials distributed Sunday morning to various interested parties:
The two teams from Virginia Task Force 1 (USA-1 & USA-5) are now combined into one. Apparently this was necessary due to transportation and fuel issues, but has helped in the management of the resources and enhanced the team’s capabilities.
The last live victim removed by VA-TF 1 involved a 26-hour operation at the University of Port-au-Prince. It was completed at 9:00 PM Saturday. The patient was in critical condition.
The operation at the Hotel Montana has been completed.
Satellite telephone reliability is a continuing problem, but the radio system has worked well.
VA-TF 1 along with CA-TF 2, FL-TF 1, and FL-TF 2 are still working out of the U.S. Embassy.
NY-TF 1 and VA-TF 2 are set up at the airport.
It is possible, but not certain, that teams could be used for “humanitarian efforts” once things switch to a recovery operation.
News reports here and here indicate California Task Force 2 located six victims in the rubble at two different locations. The video above and below follows their work at a collapsed building where the team heard tapping within the debris.
Even now, survivors still emerge from under mounds of concrete. By Saturday, American search teams had pulled out 22 people from collapsed buildings.
Early Sunday, a man and a teenage girl were found alive in the rubble of a grocery store housed in a three-story building that had collapsed. A joint New York police and fire urban rescue team found them. Both were taken to a U.N. hospital at Port-au-Prince’s airport, where the girl, about 13, was treated for leg injuries and the man treated for undetermined injuries.
The team was trying to reach three others who were still trapped, according to a statement Sunday from New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne. The five survived on the grocery store’s inventory of food and water, authorities said.
Nearly 30 international rescue teams continued to comb the disaster areas for more survivors.