Calif. firefighters rehearse for tsunami

Firefighters from around Orange County took part in California Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 5, 3-day annual training exercise

By Mindy Schauer
The Orange County Register

IRVINE, Calif. — Firefighters sat inside a room at the Orange County Fire Authority Regional Fire Operations and Training Center in Irvine on Saturday and watched video of Japan's March tsunami as it ravaged everything in its path.

This helped set the stage for the firefighters from around Orange County taking part in the California Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 5, a three-day annual training exercise, OCFA Battalion Chief Kris Concepcion said.

Part of the training center's 19-acre lot was carefully staged to look like the aftermath of a tsunami in Orange County. Some cars were flipped upside down, while others spewed smoke and flames.

Mock victims lay lifeless near the debris, while others were trapped and awaited rescue.

As firefighters took control of the scene, they were being evaluated by clipboard-holding representatives from multiple California agencies, Concepcion said.

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