ORLANDO, Fla. – Crews from Orange, Seminole, Lake and Marion counties are helping in the search for survivors in the debris left over after the Champlain Towers collapsed early Thursday morning in South Florida.
District Chief Spencer Bashinski with the Orlando Fire Department is in Surfside and has been working the 12-hour overnight shift with his crew.
“We were put to work immediately down at the site,” Bashinski said. “I know it’s cliché, but it definitely felt surreal. It’s just not something that you anticipate.”
Bashinski said his crew is briefed at 11:30 p.m. every night and are they are ready to work on the rubble pile by midnight. He said at noon the next day, his crew will collect their equipment and prepare it for the next day, before getting rest.
“Every night is almost a gut check to see how large the disaster really is,” Bashinski said.
Bashinski said the crew is hopeful they will find survivors.
“I think everybody here recognizes the severity of the event, but everybody here remains positive in the fact that these members who are working this pile are risking a lot.” Bashinski said.
Baskinski also said that having supportive family members back home in Central Florida helps them stay focused on the task at hand.
“We couldn’t do what we do without the help of our families. You know, taking care of our children, and being left alone with no plan in place and no time to put a plan in place,” Bashinski said.
Task Force Four had planned to stay 10 days, but will stay as long as needed.
As of Monday, 11 people have been found dead and more than 150 others are still missing.