US firefighters deploy to help Mexico quake rescuers

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NORWALK -

American firefighters are deploying to Mexico to help rescue survivors and assess the damage caused by a powerful earthquake there.

Norwalk Deputy Fire Chief Albe Bassett says it's stressful work.

"It's a very time-consuming operation, and sometimes you work a lot of hours with what doesn't seem like you get a lot of satisfaction, because you haven't gotten to a known victim in there," he says.

The crews use special tools to help search and rescue missions, like tall struts that can support up to 20,000 pounds while they look through rubble and rotary saws that can cut through concrete and steel.

Oftentimes, Bassett says, rescuers will bring an engineer along to develop special plans since damaged buildings are unpredictable. He is a member of Connecticut's Urban Search and Rescue team, which is dedicated to finding victims within collapsed structures.

Most people who survive the initial collapse and find an empty space to take shelter in can survive for up to a week, he says.

The quake in Mexico has already killed more than 200 people.

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