County of Marin - News Releases - Rescue Team to Montecito

For Immediate Release
January 11, 2018

Marin Rescue Team Deployed to Montecito Mudslide

Thirty-member regional Urban Search and Rescue crew to search for survivors

San Rafael, CA – A thirty-member team from Marin County has arrived Santa Barbara County to assist with rescues from the devastating mudslides that struck neighborhoods in Montecito.

Two fire engines are shown rolling down the highwayThe vehicles of Cal OES Regional Task Force 1 roll toward Montecito.
Regional Task Force 1, an urban search-and-rescue team overseen by the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), departed Marin County at 1 a.m. Thursday, January 11, and arrived at 10:15 a.m. to assist with rescues. Cal OES filed its request for deployment at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 10, and the personnel quickly came together to hit the road.

The eight-vehicle task force is led by Marin County Fire Department Battalion Chief Randy Engler. It includes heavy equipment operators, structural engineering specialists and two canine units. Regional Task Force 1, the only Cal OES task force north of Fresno, has personnel from Marin County Fire, Novato Fire District, Southern Marin Fire District, the Mill Valley Fire Department, the Windsor Fire District, the Kentfield Fire District and the Marin County Department of Public Works.

“It’s events like this that demonstrate the need to have a regional task force,” said Marin County Fire Chief Jason Weber. “Many of the firefighters responding on this task force were just down there several weeks ago fighting the Thomas Fire, so they are familiar with the territory and should be of great use to the local authorities. This is a good opportunity for this crew to exercise its skills and provide mutual aid to partner county in need.”

Regional Task Force 1 was formed in 1995 and trains regularly. Engler said the task force is prepared to stay in Montecito for 21 days. 


Bret McTigue
Battalion Chief
Marin County Fire Department

33 Castle Rock Ave.
Woodacre, CA 94973
(415) 473-6717
Email: Bret McTigue
Marin County Fire website