Fritz to the rescue: Bay Area search-dog team lands in the middle of Hawaii hurricane

With Hurricane Lane now pummeling Hawaii’s Big Island with flooding described as catastrophic, rescue teams from around the world are descending on the Aloha State, including some from the San Francisco Bay Area.

“The sponge is full,” is how forecaster Chevy Chevalier described it, meaning  the 35 inches of rain in 48 hours had completely saturated the island as residents as well as first-responders were coping with torrential rains and storm surges along the state’s coastlines.

Among the rescuers was Ed Martinez and his faithful sidekick, a Black Lab mix named Fritz, both of them with the San Francisco Fire Department and dispatched to Hawaii this week with the Menlo Park-based California Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 3. The team members are veterans in the global rescue community, having responded last September to Hurricane Irma which devastated much of the Florida Keys.

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