Virginia Task Force 1 members reunited with loved ones after Haitian earthquake mission

After 11 days on the ground in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, 65 members of Virginia Task Force One Urban Search and Rescue team have returned home to Northern Virginia.

After landing at Dulles International Airport Wednesday night the team boarded two buses for the brief ride to their nearby headquarters, where family and friends welcomed them home with colorful homemade signs, cheers, hugs and kisses.

The team comprised of members of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department deployed to Haiti as part of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s disaster response to the Aug. 14 quake.

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“It’s always great coming home after a mission, seeing the families here, smiling and everybody here on the team is very excited to see everybody, very happy to be home,” said Capt. Rob Clement of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, a squad leader of Virginia Task Force One.

Watch the video to see the team arriving to a cheering crowd:

The team members include medics, doctors, structural engineers and four K-9s and their handlers. Besides assisting with search and rescue, the team helped deliver humanitarian aid including medical supplies to damaged Haitian hospitals.

“It was amazing because of the resilience of the Haitian people. They’ve been through a lot over the years and definitely over the past few months,” said Deputy Fire Chief Tracey Reed, the highest ranking woman in the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.

“I hope they (Haitian people) continue to get the relief they need. I hope there continues to be coordination with U.S. AID and our UN partners and that they’re not forgotten,” she said.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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