Surfside Building Collapse After Action Report

A fully detailed report containing details of the herculean response to the Chanplain Towers collapse. Data collected about the Urban Search & Rescue operations and other related information.

A Message From the Mayor

In the early morning hours of June 24th, 2021, our community was changed forever. When Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to reports of a building collapse at Champlain Towers South in the Town of Surfside, they faced the worst structural collapse in our nation’s history. Without a second thought, our first responders sprang into action. They worked quickly and cooperatively to secure the scene, evaluate the collapse, and immediately begin search and rescue efforts. Amidst the rubble, first responders from around our County and around the world came together with unshaken determination. Despite inclement weather, scorching heat, fire and smoke, they worked day and night to clear the debris and bring peace of mind to the families and loved ones of those involved. We acted decisively by quickly declaring a state of emergency to make all necessary resources and support available. We were aided by the support of state and federal agencies and leaders, including President Biden and Governor DeSantis, who graciously made themselves and their staff available to assist.

A tragedy of this scale demanded a whole of government response, and our coordinated efforts spanned nearly every County department and every level of government. Together, we executed the largest non-hurricane response in Florida’s history. In the weeks and months ahead, I was heartened by the selflessness and generosity of our community. In their moment of greatest need, our community stepped up to care for those who lost everything. Businesses donated food, water, and supplies, and people across the world contributed millions of dollars to support survivors and the victims’ families. I am so proud of the way our community partners came together for Surfside and how we are working together to build an even safer Miami-Dade now and for the future. In the wake of the collapse, I directed staff to conduct an audit of all pending building recertification cases and to create an online portal so the public could easily view information about their own building’s safety record. We’ve taken further steps to strengthen our building code, shortening the recertification period and convening local, state, and federal policymakers to drive forward reforms at all levels. Locally we will require greater public disclosure by condominium and homeowner associations. As we approach the one-year anniversary of this tragedy, it is clearer than ever that the Surfside story is one of resilience and courage. Our county stepped up to meet an unprecedented tragedy and we stood united, meeting the moment and working to make sure it never happens again. Today, our work to bring about necessary reforms continues. Through this work, we honor the lives of the 98 loved ones – parents, children, coworkers, friends, and neighbors from our community – who were lost on that day. We are and forever will be Surfside Strong.

– Daniella Levine Cava
Mayor of Miami-Dade County