Lawrence Collins is a leader of the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Urban Search and Rescue Team, which was deployed to help Japanese firefighters and rescuers searching for survivors in the hard-hit cities of Ofunoto and Kamaishi. Less than than 24 hours before, this team had returned from conducting two weeks of search and rescue in the New Zealand’s earthquake. Last year the team spent 3 weeks digging survivors from collapsed buildings in the Haiti earthquake. And members of this team have responded to numerous other disasters in the U.S. and around the word, including the Oklahoma City bombing, the 9/11 attacks in New York and the Pentagon, various hurricanes and tornadoes, and earthquakes in Pakistan, China, and Iran. They also responded to Sri Lanka after the catastrophic 2004 Sumatra earthquake and tsunami. Chief Collins’ normal assignment is supervising a Battalion of 8 fire stations in the south L.A. area. He has been part of the L.A. County Fire Department for 31 years.