Skip to Content
ID
8-508-1262
Name
Urban Search and Rescue Task Force
Status
Published
Version
1.0
Updated
9/8/2020 10:01:04 AM
Original Release
09/08/2020
Last Major Release
09/08/2020
Description
An Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Force is a multi-disciplined organization which conducts search, rescue, and recovery in technical rescue disciplines, including structural collapse, rope rescue, vehicle extrication, machinery extrication, confined space (permit-required, non-cave, non-mine), trench, excavation, water operations, and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives (CBRNE) defensive operations in a US&R environment
Resource Category
Search and Rescue
Primary Core Capability
Mass Search and Rescue Operations
Secondary Core Capability
 
Resource Kind
Team
Overall Function
A US&R Task Force: 1. Conducts search, rescue, and recovery, including: a. Wide-area search b. Structural collapse assessment, search, rescue, and rigging in light through heavy frame construction, including reinforced concrete c. Associated technical rope rescue (including highlines) d. Confined space search and rescue (permit-required, non-mine, non-cave) e. Trench and excavation rescue f. Mass transportation vehicle rescue (subway, rail, bus) g. Supporting the transport of service or companion animals with persons rescued 2. Coordinates and conducts search and rescue response efforts for all hazards, including locating, accessing, medically stabilizing, and extricating survivors from the damaged structures area 3. Operates in environments with and without infrastructure, including compromised access to roadways, utilities, transportation, and limited availability for shelter, food, and water
Composition and Ordering Specifications
1. Type 1 and Type 2 Task Forces can operate for 24-hour periods, and Types 3 and 4 Task Forces can operate for 12-hour periods, with shifts determined by the Task Force Leader and Incident Commander 2. Requestor/Agency Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) and resource provider must address, prior to deployment, certain needs, including: a. Communications beyond the resource’s intra-team communications (such as programmable inter-operable communications with command, logistics, military, air attack, navigable, etc.) b. Type of incident, such as confined space, terrain, and water conditions c. Type of construction and collapse conditions per the Uniform Building Code definitions of Heavy, Medium, and Light d. Additional specialized personnel, such as advanced medical, animal search and rescue, boat operators and bowman, logistics, advisors or helicopter support, or for unique operating environments e. Additional transportation or specific vehicles, boats, trailers, drivers, mechanics, equipment, supplies, and fuel, etc. f. Any additional aviation support, such as helicopter or fixed wing g. Tools, hardware, software, ropes, and survivor evacuation equipment that is beyond what is listed for this resource h. Contaminated environments, and related personal protective equipment (PPE), respiratory protection, clothing, and equipment. I. Logistics support needs for this resource (security and force protection, lodging, transportation, meals, etc.) j. Length of deployment k. Working conditions 3. The requestor must specify if the incident necessitates additional recognized capability or endorsement, such as Hazardous Materials (HazMat) response, CBRNE response, or environments immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH), per ASTM International (ASTM) F2890 Standard Guide for Hazard Awareness for Search and Rescue Personnel, and ensure that the resource provider deploys the US&R Task Force equipped with the additional specific equipment to perform those capabilities 4. Task Force relies on local emergency infrastructure for all rescued people and animal hand-off 5. This Task Force may be ordered as a FEMA US&R Task Force mission ready package (MRP)
Supporting Core Capabilities
None
Components
Component Notes  
MINIMUM PERSONNEL PER TEAMNot Specified
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 170
Type 270
Type 335
Type 422
MANAGEMENT AND OVERSIGHT PERSONNEL PER TEAMOne US&R TFL may be function as a deputy
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 1Same as Type 2
Type 2Same as Type 3 Plus; 1 – National Incident Management System (NIMS) US&R Task Force Leader (TFL)
Type 31 – NIMS US&R TFL
Type 41 – NIMS US&R TFL
Operations and Support Personnel Per Team1. For Type 4, a minimum of two of the NIMS Type 1 Structural Collapse Rescue Team Leaders and NIMS Type 1 Structural Collapse Rescue Technicians maintain currency as NIMS Type 1 Structural Collapse Search Technicians. 2. NIMS Type 1 Structural Collapse Search Team Leader is consistent with the position description for FEMA US&R Search Manager within the National US&R Response System. 3. NIMS Type 1 Structural Collapse Search Technician is consistent with the position description for FEMA US&R Structural Collapse Search Specialist within the National US&R Response System. 4. NIMS Type 1 Safety Officer functions as an Assistant Safety Officer. 5. A Canine Search Specialist(s), Disaster/Structural Collapse - Human Remains and additional Canine Search Specialist(s), Disaster/Structural Collapse - Live can be requested and deployed as separate single resource(s) based on the needs of the specific mission. 6. All types of US&R Task Forces perform limited operations in hazardous materials or contaminated environments. Hazardous materials capability is limited to one operational period of 12 hours and is limited to defensive operations. The Type 1 is also capable of a 12-hour operational period in a CBRNE environment and capable of being extended up to an additional 24 hours when augmented with additional equipment. Level B and Level C PPE as defined by 29 CFR 1910.120 and consistent with NFPA 472: Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents or equivalent. 7. Medical care within the Task Force is primarily to care for Task Force members and survivors being extricated or rescued. 8. The Medical Team Manager is a licensed physician who is emergency medicine residency trained and/or Board-certified in emergency medicine and actively practicing clinical emergency medicine and having experience with pre-hospital medical care OR be a currently licensed physician with current ACLS, ATLS and PALS certification (or equivalent) whose medical activities include clinical medicine and/or pre-hospital care.
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 1Same as Type 2
Type 2Same as Type 3, PLUS: 1 – Safety Officer 1 – NIMS Type 1 Structural Collapse Search Team Leader, who is also certified as a NIMS Type 1 Canine Search Specialist - Disaster/Structural Collapse Live 1 – NIMS Type 1 Structural Collapse Search Technician 2 – NIMS Type 1 Canine Search Specialist, Disaster/Structural Collapse – Live 3 – NIMS Type 1 Structural Collapse Rescue Team Leader 10 – NIMS Type 1 Structural Collapse Rescue Technician 1 - Heavy Equipment Rigging Specialist 5 – NIMS HazMat Technician 1 – Medical Team Manager 2 – Medical Specialist 1 – Logistics Team Manager 2 – Logistics Specialist 1 – NIMS COMT 1 – Planning Team Manager 1 – Technical Information Specialist 1 – Structures Specialist
Type 31 – Safety Officer 1 – NIMS Type 1 Structural Collapse Search Team Leader, who is also certified as a NIMS Type 1 Canine Search Specialist - Disaster/Structural Collapse Live 1 – NIMS Type 1 Structural Collapse Search Technician 2 – NIMS Type 1 Canine Search Specialist, Disaster/Structural Collapse – Live 3 – NIMS Type 1 Structural Collapse Rescue Team Leader 10 – NIMS Type 1 Structural Collapse Rescue Technician 1 – Heavy Equipment Rigging Specialist 5 – NIMS HazMat Technician 1 – Medical Team Manager 2 – Medical Specialist 1 – Logistics Team Manager 2 – Logistics Specialist 1 – NIMS COMT 1 – Planning Team Manager 1 – Technical Information Specialist 1 – Structures Specialist
Type 41 – Safety Officer 2 – NIMS Type 1 Structural Collapse Rescue Team Leader 10 – NIMS Type 1 Structural Collapse Rescue Technician 2 – NIMS HazMat Technician 2 – NIMS Paramedic, who are also trained in collapse compartment syndrome 2 – Logistics Specialist 1 – NIMS Communications Technician (COMT) 1 – Plans Team Manager, who is also qualified to serve as a Technical Information Specialist
Operational and Support Capabilities Per TeamNot Specified
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 1Same as Type 2, PLUS: 1. Deploys a CBRNE functional HazMat capability
Type 2Same as Type 3
Type 3Same as Type 4, PLUS: 1. Performs in heavy reinforced masonry structures 2. Performs functions of heavy rigging, structural assessment 3. Capable of search and rescue operations in: a. Heavy frame b. Reinforced concrete c. High-angle rope rescue (including highline systems) d. Confined space rescue (permit required) e. Trench / excavation f. Wide-area search g. Stillwater / flood water operations h. Mass transportation (subway, rail, bus) rescue
Type 41. Performs in light or medium construction 2. Performs functions of rescue, search, medical, logistics, planning, and safety in structures, including limited operations in hazardous materials (HazMat) or contaminated environments 3. Capable of limited light to moderate operations in: a. Frame and concrete construction b. Rope rescue c. Confined space rescue d. Wide-area search
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE) PER TEAM MEMBER1. Each response or mission could necessitate additional specialized equipment, such as water operations equipment. 2. The following standards address personal protective equipment: American National Standard Institute (ANSI) Z359: Fall Protection Code; National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1983: Standard on Life Safety Rope and Equipment for Emergency Services; NFPA 1951: Standard on Protective Ensembles for Technical Rescue Incidents or equivalent. 3. The following regulation also addresses PPE: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.146 Permit- Required Confined Spaces. 4. Level B and Level C PPE as defined by the following regulation Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.120. 5. Refer to FEMA US&R Cache / State Urban Search and Rescue (SUSAR) lists for further detailed equipment guidelines.
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 1Same as Type 2, PLUS: 1. Deploys appropriate Level B PPE that can perform operations in a structural collapse contaminated environment for at least 12 hours and capable of being extended up to an additional 24 hours when augmented with additional equipment 2. Level B PPE is included for response to CBRNE incidents
Type 2Same as Type 3
Type 3Same as Type 4
Type 4Minimum criteria for PPE includes an US&R tactical go-bag including: 1. Helmets, headlamps, batteries 2. Eye and hearing protection 3. Respiratory protection to include supplied air breathing apparatus and limited quantities of self- contained breathing apparatus 4. Uniform/protective clothing a. Gloves b. Footwear c. Foul weather clothing 5. Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK)
COMMUNICATIONS CAPABILITY PER TEAM1. The local Incident Command should determine interoperability within the incident, including with aircraft. 2. Intra-team and inter-team communications should be consistent with the National Interoperability Field Operations Guide (NIFOG). 3. Refer to FEMA US&R / SUSAR Cache lists for further detailed equipment guidelines.
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 1Same as Type 2
Type 2Same as Type 3
Type 3The Type 3 Task Force is capable of supporting the following: 1. Data communications between two forward operational areas, Incident Command and other agencies 2. Ongoing sustainment and maintenance of the communications cache 3. Wide area communications to meet the operational need of the task force
Type 4The Type 4 Task Force is capable of supporting: 1. Voice and data communications for all members and attached personnel
TECHNICIAL EQUIPMENTRefer to FEMA US&R / SUSAR Cache lists for further detailed equipment guidelines.
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 1Same as Type 2
Type 2Same as Type 3
Type 3Same as Type 4
Type 4Technical equipment includes: 1. Search cameras 2. Listening devices 3. Mapping, Global Positioning System (GPS), and other victim locating equipment
RESCUE EQUIPMENTRefer to FEMA US&R / SUSAR Cache lists for further detailed equipment guidelines.
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 1Same as Type 2
Type 2Same as Type 3
Type 3Same as Type 4, PLUS: 1. Concrete breaching and breaking equipment including: a. Concrete saws b. Jack hammers c. Concrete drills d. Hammer drills 2. Heavy rigging equipment for crane operations
Type 4Rescue equipment includes: 1. Shoring equipment for wood and prefabricated metal shoring, including saws and other construction equipment 2. Concrete lifting and stabilization equipment 3. Rope rescue equipment for high-angle, low-angle, and confined space rescue 4. Vehicle and machinery extrication equipment including air bags and hydraulic rescue equipment 5. Survivor extraction equipment
MEDICAL CAPABILITY PER TEAMRefer to FEMA US&R / SUSAR Cache lists for further detailed equipment guidelines.
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 1Same as Type 2
Type 2The Type 2 is capable of supporting the following: 1. Providing sophisticated medical care for survivors entrapped in collapsed structures and for 70 task force personnel 2. Providing quantity of equipment and pharmaceuticals to meet the following minimum injuries during a mission: 10 critical cases, 15 moderate cases and 25 minor cases
Type 3The Type 3 is capable of supporting the following: 1. Providing sophisticated medical care for survivors entrapped in collapsed structures and for 35 task force personnel 2. Providing quantity of equipment and pharmaceuticals to meet the following minimum injuries during a mission: 5 critical cases, 7 moderate cases and 12 minor cases
Type 4The Type 4 is capable of supporting the following: 1. Providing sophisticated medical care for survivors entrapped in collapsed structures and for 22 task force personnel
HAZMAT EQUIPMENT1. All types of US&R Task Forces perform limited operations in hazardous materials or contaminated environments. 2. Hazardous materials capability is limited to one operational period of 12 hours and is limited to defensive operations. The Type 1 is also capable of a 12-hour operational period in a CBRNE environment and is capable of being augmented with additional equipment and supplies to perform operations for an additional 24 hours. 3. Level B and Level C PPE must be consistent with the requirements defined in 29 CFR 1910.120 and 29 CFR 1910.146. 4. Refer to FEMA US&R Cache lists for further detailed equipment guidelines.
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 1Same as Type 2 PLUS: Level B PPE in order to operate in a structural collapse contaminated environment for up to 12 hours and capable of being extended up to an additional 24 hours when augmented with additional equipment. Level B PPE is included for response to CBRNE incidents.
Type 2Same as Type 3
Type 3Same as Type 4, PLUS: 1. Level C PPE in order to operate in a structural collapse environment 2. Self- contained respiratory protection for rescue personnel working in IDLH or confined spaces
Type 41. Atmospheric monitors 2. Decontamination equipment
SAFETY EQUIPMENT1. Each response or mission could necessitate additional specialized equipment, such as water operations equipment. 2. Refer to FEMA US&R / SUSAR Cache lists for further detailed equipment guidelines
Component Types
Type Attribute
Type 1Same as Type 2, PLUS: 1. Replacement level B PPE
Type 2Same as Type 3
Type 3Same as Type 4, PLUS: 1. Confined space entry equipment including supplied air breathing system 2. Lockout/Tag out kit
Type 4Safety equipment includes but not limited to: 1. Electric current detector 2. Replacement level C PPE 3. Extinguisher, dry chemical ABC 10# 4. Emergency signaling device 5. Light sticks 6. Barrier tape
860860860
Notes
References
Reference
FEMA, NIMS 509: Incident Communications Technician
FEMA, NIMS 509: Safety Officer
FEMA, NIMS 509: Hazardous Materials Technician
FEMA, NIMS 509: Canine Search Specialist – Disaster/Structural Collapse Live
FEMA, NIMS 509: Canine Search Specialist – Disaster/Structural Collapse Human Remains
FEMA, NIMS 509: Structural Collapse Rescue Team Leader
FEMA, NIMS 509: Structural Collapse Rescue Technician
FEMA, NIMS 509: Structural Collapse Search Team Leader
FEMA, NIMS 509: Structural Collapse Search Technician
FEMA, NIMS 509: Urban Search and Rescue Task Force Leader
FEMA, National Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Response System, Approved Task Force Equipment Cache List, latest edition adopted
FEMA, National US&R Response System, Rescue Field Operations Guide, latest edition adopted
FEMA, National US&R Response System, Operations Manual, latest edition adopted
FEMA, National US&R Response System, Training Program Administration Manual, latest edition adopted
FEMA, National US&R Response System, Mission Ready Package Handbook, latest edition adopted
State Urban Search and Rescue (SUSAR) Equipment Cache List, latest edition adopted
SUSAR Mission Ready Package Handbook, latest edition adopted
Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) Urban Search and Rescue Standard, 2016 National US&R Standard, ANSI/EMAP 1-2016, latest edition adopted
American National Standard Institute (ANSI) A10.14 American National Standard for Construction and Demolition Operations - Requirements for Safety Belts, Harnesses, Lanyards and Lifelines for Construction and Demolition Use, latest edition adopted
ANSI Z359.1 American National Standard Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components, latest edition adopted
ASTM International (ASTM), F-2890-12 Standard Guide for Hazard Awareness for Search and Rescue Personnel, latest edition adopted
International Code Council, International Building Code, latest edition adopted
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 472: Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents, latest edition adopted
NFPA 1951: Standard on Protective Ensembles for Technical Rescue Incidents, latest edition adopted
NFPA 1983: Standard on Life Safety Rope and Equipment for Emergency Services, latest edition adopted
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.120, Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response
OSHA, 29 CFR 1910.134, Personal Protective Equipment
OSHA, 29 CFR 1910.146, Permit-Required Confined Spaces
U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Emergency Communications (OEC), National Interoperability Field Operations Guide (NIFOG), v. 1.4, January 2014