Magazine article Warrior - Citizen

The New Army Reserve-Puerto Rico Search and Rescue Team

Magazine article Warrior - Citizen

The New Army Reserve-Puerto Rico Search and Rescue Team

Article excerpt

RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico - Approximately 32 members of the newlycreated Army Reserve-Puerto Rico Search and Rescue Team recently conducted an exercise at a local training facility, with the intent of developing and sustaining critical skills on structural collapse techniques, such as lifting, moving, breaking and breaching and shoring.

The team received their initial training at Florida State Fire College in February 2018. The officer in charge, 1st Lt. Jose Tristani, called the team "highly motivated and ready to learn," as they picked new techniques on how to save lives.

"We were exposed to different ways to cut cement to reach victims more easily. Every emergency is different, so we need to learn different ways to face the situations," said Tristani, a native of Juana Diaz.

According to Tristani, hands-on training will be conducted every three months, making safety an ongoing concern.

"In the six months since the team has been established, we have conducted two major training events." said Tristani. "We have had zero accidents."

Spc. Naisvette Andujar is one of the seven female Soldiers composing the first federal U.S. Army search and rescue team in the Caribbean.

"I feel safer now after the training, because I learned different ways to do a very difficult job," added Andujar.

The establishment of the search and rescue team is one of the immediate measures the largest Army command in the Caribbean has taken as a result of the lessons learned in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. …

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