Cherry Hill native assists in Surfside Condo collapse response efforts

A Camden County native is helping with recovery efforts in Florida following the Surfside Condo collapse that killed dozens of people last month.

News 12 Staff

Jul 14, 2021, 8:56 PM

Updated 1,013 days ago

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A Camden County native is helping with recovery efforts in Florida following the Surfside Condo collapse that killed dozens of people last month.
Dr. Ben Abo graduated from Cherry Hill High School East and now serves as the medical director of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.
"This is something that's going to be part of us, everybody that responded, and those that were affected, forever,” says Dr. Abo.
The doctor says his shift begins at midnight and consists of around-the-clock mitigating everything from COVID-19, personal safety and people getting sick.
His crew and others working long hours to recover the missing, but this isn’t the first time Dr. Abo has responded to a collapse. The Camden County native was an EMT with Cherry Hill and Mount Laurel EMS. In 2001, he was called to help recover missing people during 9/11.
"I basically got up there about 24 hours after and that was bringing emotional support as we did search and recovery and try to maintain everybody's health there also, bringing a bunch of masks and boards in water, gloves,” says Dr. Abo.
He tells News 12 the recovery mission in Surfside is almost complete after almost three weeks.
Four friends of Dr. Abo died in the collapse, and he says his colleagues lost family members.
While people think of the victims' families, the health expert asks that you also think of those on the ground in Surfside, too.
"This is our job but it is personal, and this is a permanent mental toll, an emotional toll on us all,” says Dr. Abo.
According to Surfside officials, 95 people have been recovered and 14 are still missing.


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