Scenes from the devastation in Japan continue flooding the airwaves while U.S. Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams from Fairfax County (VA-TF1) and Los Angeles County (CA-TF2) return home after their valiant efforts to locate some of the thousands still reported missing in the aftermath.
Photo Adam K. Thiel One of several hazmat response units deployed by the Tokyo Fire Department in June 2010.
Beyond recovering from the initial disasters, Japanese firefighters from Tokyo and elsewhere remain heavily engaged in response activities as they struggle to help contain the expanding nuclear crisis in Fukushima.
There are still-unconfirmed reports of multiple firefighters killed or missing during the earthquake and tsunami.
Without question, the Tokyo firefighters tasked with extinguishing the blazes at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are in a very dangerous situation.
Yet, like firefighters everywhere, they put themselves in harm's way with the hope of averting catastrophe.
And once again, the world watches...
About the author
With more than two decades in the field, Chief Adam K. Thiel — FireRescue1's editorial advisor — is an active fire chief in the National Capital Region and a former state fire director for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chief Thiel's operational experience includes serving with distinction in four states as a chief officer, incident commander, company officer, hazardous materials team leader, paramedic, technical rescuer, structural/wildland firefighter and rescue diver. He also directly participated in response and recovery efforts for several major disasters including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Tropical Storm Gaston and Hurricane Isabel.
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