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San Juan Fire & Rescue joins recovery effort in Oso
At the request of Snohomish County officials, Assistant Chief Brad Creesy and Administrative Assistant Carolyn Hudson of San Juan Island Fire Department have joined the rescue and recovery effort near the town of Oso, on state Highway 20.
The two fire department veterans left for the Oso area on a noon-time ferry, will be stationed in nearby Arlington and join San Juan County/Town of Friday Harbor Department of Emergency Management chief Brendan Cowan at the scene, San Juan Island Fire Department Chief Steve Marler said.
As many as 14 people were killed and many more remain missing in the wake of a massive landslide that struck a rural neighborhood outside of Oso, leveled nearly two dozen homes and engulfed a mile-long stretch of state highway shortly after 10 a.m., Saturday, March 22.
Marler said that Cowan has been assisting at the scene since the weekend. Creesy will join a planning unit, and that Hudson will be assisting a finance unit. The deployment could last as long as 21 days, he said.
In a press release, Marler said the department participates in disaster-related and emergency efforts so that members of the staff can gain real-world experience in such situations and connect with people and agencies that would be called upon to help if a major emergency or disaster were ever to strike in San Juan County.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse most costs connected with the department providing assistance in the recovery effort, Marler said.