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They responded after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Harvey.
Now, just days after their deployment to the floods of southeast Texas, the Los Angeles search-and-rescue team known as California Task Force 1 is preparing to do it again in Florida.
Early Monday, Hurricane Irma was crawling up Florida’s west coast, including St. Petersburg and Tampa, after thrashing parts of the Caribbean and the Florida Keys.
“We’re just kind of preparing for battle right now,” said Carlos Calvillo, an assistant fire chief with California Task Force 1, which has about 70 members.
California maintains eight urban search-and-rescue teams as part of a federal disaster response system. They are self-contained units — traveling in truck convoys with food, fuel and rescue supplies, including boats.
When not deployed, most of the members work in neighborhood fire stations across the state.
Even as an intense wildfire season has strained California’s firefighting forces, all of the teams were tapped to help out in Texas.
Four of those — from San Diego, Los Angeles, Menlo Park and Oakland — were subsequently deployed to Florida, said Brad Alexander, spokesman for the California Office of Emergency Services.
California Task Force 1 was on the road home from Houston, where they logged more than 50 rescues, when they got the call to turn around, said Mr. Calvillo.
Four days and more than 1,700 miles later, on Saturday, they were at a staging area in Orlando.
The task force’s members spent the weekend gearing up for what could be a vast rescue effort. At one point, they passed around pictures of the devastation Hurricane Andrew left Florida with 25 years ago.
They wanted to get a sense of what, exactly, could happen in the state.
The team has been touched by the many of the encounters they’ve had since leaving home, said Brian Humphrey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Cars pulled out of line at gas stations to let them fuel up first. On the road, they were given free meals from well-wishers, including a fire station in Midland, Tex., and a local contractor in Addison, Tex.
“It was just really neat to see what people did — little things,” said Mr. Humphrey. “And little things just mean so much.”
Sam Hodgson, a photographer for The New York Times, has been embedded with the team in Orlando.
A few of his photos from over the weekend:
Alan Blinder contributed reporting from Orlando.
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Coming Up This Week
• Apple is unveiling a premium iPhone that starts at about $1,000 at an event in Cupertino on Tuesday.
• The three-day Monterey Jazz Festival kicks off Friday. Among the performers: Chick Corea, Brad Mehldau and Angelique Kidjo.
• The Emmy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on Sunday. “Saturday Night Live” and “Westworld” lead the nominations.