President Biden meets Tampa Bay first responders helping rescue efforts at Surfside condo collapse

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – This afternoon members of Task Force 3, which includes Hillsborough County Fire Rescue firefighters, met President Joe Biden who visited Surfside to support the recovery effort and the family of the victims.

Task Force 3 is made up of Urban Search and Rescue specialists from Hillsborough County, Tampa, and St. Petersburg. They are now fully involved in recovery efforts at the scene of the collapsed condo in Surfside.

“What you’re doing here is incredible, having to deal with the uncertainty,” said Biden, as he offered profuse thanks to those who have been working at the site.

Few public figures connect as powerfully on grief as Biden, who lost his first wife and baby daughter in a car collision and later an adult son to brain cancer. In the first months of his term, he has drawn on that empathy to console those who have lost loved ones, including the more than 600,000 who have died in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is life and death,” Biden said at a briefing from officials about the collapse. “We can do it, just the simple act of everyone doing what needs to be done, makes a difference.”

Biden said the cause of the sudden collapse remained under investigation. The National Institute of Standards and Technology, which sent a team of scientists and engineers to the site, launched an investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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