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Norfolk mayor recognizes local firefighters for recovery efforts in Surfside condo collapse

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Posted at 10:00 PM, Jul 20, 2021

NORFOLK, Va. - A group of local firefighters is being recognized for helping during a tragedy in Florida.

During Tuesday's city council meeting, Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander recognized seven members of Norfolk Fire-Rescue for assisting in the recovery efforts after the condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida.

The Norfolk firefighters were a part of the USAR Virginia Task Force 2 that deployed to Florida and recovered 25 people from the collapse. The group returned to the Virginia Beach Training Center on July 13.

The firefighters who were recognized are:

  • Captain Christian Fultz - Rescue Team Manager
  • Captain Mike Yoshida - Rescue Specialist
  • Lt. Spencer Davis - Rescue Specialist
  • Captain Bobby Matthews - Hazmat Team Manager
  • Battalion Chief Wayne Watson – Hazmat Specialist
  • Lt. Russ Bargy – Technical Search Specialist
  • Lt. David Bissell – Technical Search Specialist

During their final operation, the group had to clear debris to reach the ground floor and parking garages of the collapsed building. Due to the tragic conditions, a large emphasis was placed on responder mental health and wellness while deployed, and the city says those resources and services will continue to be offered to all team members as they resume their normal work duties.