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ID
8-508-1015
Name
Cave Search and Rescue Team
Status
Published
Updated
11/15/2019 5:02:04 PM
Released
11/14/2005
Description
A Cave Search and Rescue (SAR) Team conducts search, rescue, and recovery in naturally formed caves.
Resource Category
Search and Rescue
Primary Core Capability
Mass Search and Rescue Operations
Secondary Core Capability
 
Resource Kind
Team
Overall Function
The Cave SAR Team: 1. Conducts search, rescue, and recovery in horizontal and vertical cave environments 2. Provides for primary rescue of humans to the nearest location for secondary air or land transport, care, and sheltering 3. Provides first aid, or more advanced medical care consistent with level of training. May include CPR when appropriate to patient condition and limitations of cave environment 4. Operates within the Incident Command System (ICS) 5. Operates in environments with and without infrastructure, including those with compromised access to roadways, utilities, and transportation, or medical facilities; and those with limited availability of shelter, food, and water
Composition and Ordering Specifications
1. Discuss the following items prior to deployment: a. Intra-team communications, such as wired cave communication equipment and or cave radio communications with Command, General Staff, and other supporting resources b. Presence of contaminated environments and need for related personal protective equipment (PPE), respiratory protection, clothing, and equipment c. Security and force protection needs upon arrival d. Logistics support, such as working conditions, length of deployment, security, lodging, transportation, and meals 2. The requestor should specify additional specialized equipment, such as hardware, software, ropes, or evacuation devices 3. The requestor should specify the mission location and operational environment, such as land, wilderness, or hazardous materials contamination 4. The requestor should specify additional skills needed for deep or rapidly moving water, sumps, completely water-filled passages, or hazardous atmospheres 5. The requestor should acquire additional specialized personnel separately, such as advanced medical, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), paramedic, or canine SAR specialist 6. The requestor should acquire secondary land or air transport of rescues separately 7. The requestor should specify or separately acquire additional vehicles, trailers, equipment, or supplies such as fuel 8. The requestor should consider the need for additional capabilities or endorsements to address hazards that the team may encounter during operations in SAR environments, which may be immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH), as defined by ASTM International (ASTM) F2890 Standard Guide for Hazard Awareness for Search and Rescue Personnel
Supporting Core Capabilities
None
Components
Component Notes  
MINIMUM PERSONNEL PER TEAMNot Specified
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 17
Type 27
MANAGEMENT AND OVERSIGHT PERSONNEL PER TEAMNot Specified
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 11 – NIMS Type 1 Cave SAR Team Leader
Type 21 – National Incident Management System (NIMS) Type 2 Cave SAR Team Leader
SUPPORT PERSONNEL PER TEAMProviding rapid intervention and logistical support, such as surface operations and communications, may require additional teams.
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 16 – NIMS Typed Cave SAR Technicians, at least 4 with Type 2 or higher qualifications
Type 26 – NIMS Typed Cave SAR Technicians, at least 2 with Type 2 or higher qualifications
Search and Rescue Capability Per TeamAll teams are capable of working around a cave with a NIMS Type 1 Canine Search Team – Land Live.
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 1Same as Type 2, PLUS: Conduct search, rescue, and recovery in caves with swiftwater
Type 2Conduct search, rescue, and recovery in horizontal and vertical caves
General Equipment Per Team1. Each team should have equipment necessary for access, search, rescue, and recovery; patient assessment, treatment, and evacuation. 2. Most current, commonly used example of a flexible plastic conformable stretcher used in Cave SAR is the SKED.
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 1Same as Type 2
Type 21. Technical rope rescue equipment 2. Additional equipment to respond to simultaneous extraction 3. Personnel accountability system for surface and entry 4. Base and spike camp 5. Patient tie-in system 6. Litter wheel 7. Patient packaging materials such as vapor barriers and hypothermia protection 8. Litter bridles 9. Appropriate flotation equipment for extrication 10. Evacuation equipment including: at least one flexible plastic conformable stretcher designed for patient extrication through a variety of horizontal and vertical cave passages; and at least one basket litter
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Equipment Per Team MemberNational Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1983: Standard on Life Safety Rope and Equipment for Emergency Services (2017) addresses PPE.
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 1Same as Type 2, PLUS: Personal flotation device, wetsuit or drysuit as appropriate
Type 2Minimum PPE consistent with this resource’s capabilities and needs, including: 1. Footwear, underwear, and outerwear suited to the particular cave environment 2. Commercially Sewn seat harness 3. Personal descending and ascending equipment with 2 points of attachment above the waist 4. Helmet (with 3- or 4-point chinstrap suspension system) 5. Gloves with leather palms or heavy duty synthetic 6. 3 – Independent sources of light, each capable of exiting the cave; 2 of which are helmet-mountable 7. Batteries (carbide if appropriate) 8. Quantity of water appropriate for the conditions 9. Knife/multi-tool 10. Personal first aid kit
COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT PER TEAM1. Intra-team and inter-team communications are consistent with National Interoperability Field Operations Guide (NIFOG). 2. Consider alternate forms of communication, such as satellite phones, based on the mission assignment and team needs.
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 1Same as Type 2
Type 21. Wired communications suitable to in-cave operations, and/or radio systems built for or specially adapted to caves 2. Equipment to patch wired systems into wireless systems for command interface 3. Personal communication devices (such as radios and/or cell phones) for above ground communication 4. GPS units to assist in location of above ground locations
TRANSPORTATION EQUIPMENT PER TEAMNot Specified
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 1Same as Type 2
Type 22 – Vehicle
833
Notes
References
Reference
FEMA, NIMS 509: Emergency Medical Technician
FEMA, NIMS 509: Paramedic
FEMA, NIMS 509: Cave Search and Rescue Team Leader
FEMA, NIMS 509: Cave Search and Rescue Technician
FEMA, NIMS 509: Canine Search Team – Land Live
FEMA, National Incident Management System (NIMS), October 2017
ASTM International (ASTM) F2890-12 Standard Guide for Hazard Awareness for Search and Rescue Personnel, 2012
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1006: Standard for Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications, 2017
NFPA 1670: Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents, 2017
NFPA 1983: Standard on Life Safety Rope and Equipment for Emergency Services, 2017
U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Emergency Communications (OEC), National Interoperability Field Guide (NIFOG), version 1.5, January 2014