Local Rescue Teams Make Their Way Home From Nepal
(FOX11) - After three weeks of digging through rubble and searching for survivors, the last of the USA2-Search and Rescue Team made their way home from Nepal Sunday.
Dennis Clark's wife Julie shouted with joy as her husband and rescue dog Rugby as they hurried out of the truck and into her arms. Clark, part of the seven-man, six-dog Nepal rescue team from the Los Angeles County Fire Department
"Having him in another county was tough, but when the second earthquake hit, I just wanted to make sure he was okay," Julie Clark said.
"It's a little bit of shock and awe right now, it was a long trip to here and the easier part is knowing I have such a supportive and loving family I"m coming home too I knew they would be okay and they know I would be okay and it just takes your breath away rolling up here." Dennis Clark said.
Eric Gray returned with his dog Ripley into the arms of his wife Donna and his three-month-old baby girl. He says he can't believe how much she's changed in just 21 days.
"Personally, it's a challenge just to get up and do the things that are asked of you because I have this at home," Gray said looking at his little girl. " We did some really good things, but the people of Nepal have a long way to go just to get back to where they might of been," Gray said.
The number of people killed in Nepal by the two major earthquakes that have happened since April 25th has surpassed 8,500 people, making it the deadliest disaster to hit Himalayan Country on record.
This team and their dogs were responsible for assisting in the rescues of a 41-year-old woman and a 15-year-old boy. Andy Olvera and his dog Stetson assisted in the rescue.
Olvera says during the rescue he's trained himself to keep his emotions plateaued, it's not until later that he felt the magnitude of what their being in Nepal meant.
"After the fact, thinking of it, it's truly amazing. It's amazing to see all that come together and to be part of it. It gives you chills," Olvera said.
Clark says their focus was not just on finding people it was making sure the piles of rubble didn't have living people still trapped inside.
"It was also about clearing the piles, for these dogs, it's not just finding victims, it's knowing we can leave in confidence that we didn't leave anyone behind," Clark said
All the rescuers saying they learned of the resilience and strength of the Nepalese people. They say they still have a long way to go.