6 San Diegans take part in Hurricane Matthew search-rescue efforts

SAN DIEGO — Five local firefighters and a structural engineer were sent to the southeastern U.S. to assist in search and rescue efforts amid the damage caused by what is now Post-Tropical Cyclone Matthew, authorities said Tuesday.

San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Firefighter Mark Alvarez, Battalion Chief Mike Finnerty, and captains Karl Becker and Robert Rezende, Chula Vista Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeff Peter and civilian structural engineer Vince Sobash are members of the urban search and rescue team, California Task Force 8. They left Friday to assist with logistical support, planning and communications, SDFRD spokesman Lee Swanson said.

Peter was leading a group of Urban Search and Rescue members in North Carolina, and the others were working on various assignments in Georgia, according to Swanson. It was unclear how long they would be deployed.

The local search and rescue team is one of 10 working in storm-ravaged areas in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.