Tue, September 02, 2008
World > Americas

Schwarzenegger pledges more help to Gustav-stricken area

2008-09-01 21:26:32 GMT2008-09-02 05:26:32 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Monday that California "stands ready to help those in the Gulf region in any way that we can" as Hurricane Gustav was sweeping the Gulf Coast,.

As he spoke, a group of swift water rescue firefighters were enroute from Los Angeles to aid Gulf Coast residents as they brace for Hurricane Gustav, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman said.

The swift water rescue team was bringing inflatable boats, personal watercraft and enough supplies to be mobile and self-sufficient for 10 days, said Brian Humphrey of the LAFD.

The team was specially trained and equipped in all types of water rescue operations, not just swift water Humphrey said.

The team was part of assistance pledged by California to help fight Gustav.

Schwarzenegger said in a statement that "we in California , just as those in Louisiana , Alabama and Mississippi, know too well the potential for tragedy due to natural disasters."

California has deployed a total of 302 personnel in response to Hurricane Gustav, including five Urban Search and Rescue Teams and eight Swift Water Rescue Teams. Those personnel include Governor's Office of Emergency Services Coordinators and Fire Branch Chiefs, state and local firefighters, search and rescue experts, swift water rescue personnel and various specialized support personnel.

The California National Guard has also activated 29 guard personnel with two HH-60 Pavehawk Helicopters and one MC130 fixed wing aircraft to support Air National Guard rescue missions in Louisiana.

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