Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Readiness Areas: Operations Readiness


A US&R Task Force is a multi disciplinary team of individuals specializing in urban search and rescue, disaster recovery, and emergency triage and medicine. The teams are deployed to emergency and disaster sites within six hours of notification.The issue of managing personnel and ensuring availability of skilled members is a challenge for any US&R Task force. Organizations involved in US&R response operations need to know the availability of personnel across all their rosters for months at a time.

Most Task Forces are capable of deploying as a Type I with 70 personnel or a Type III with 28 personnel. This deployment configuration is increased if the Task Force mobilizes for a ground transport.Each task force member is a specialist in one of four areas; Search ,Rescue , Technical and Medical.

The search and rescue personnel are organized into four Rescue Squads, each composed of an Officer and five Rescue Specialists, and are capable of working 12-hour alternating shifts. The medical personnel include two task force physicians and four Medical Specialists The FEMA US&R System recommends that US&R teams assess their operational readiness under 5 categories;

1. Complement of Rostered Task Force Members

The number of rostered members in the task force database. Program managers are expected to keep an up-to-date list of task force members who are; Rostered, Trained and Deployable. Rostered personnel include new task force trainees, as well as members previously trained or deployable, but no longer in that status.

2. Complement of Trained Task Force Members

The number of trained members in the task force who have completed the required training requirements contained in Position Descriptions. Program Managers should ensure there is an efficient, standard filing system for task force member’s training records. General and Position Specific functional training/certification records should be in a central location for all task force members and canines.

3. Complement of Deployable Task Force Members

A wide variety of records, databases and documentation are required to support a task force on a daily basis. Program Managers are expected to track the status of rostered members to reflect whether each is deployable or non-deployable.

4. Complement of Task Force Member Participating in Exercises

The number of rostered and deployable members in the task force who have participated in and supported mobilization and deployment exercises . Deployment Exercise are a dynamic exercise taking place over multiple operational periods - typically 24 to 72 hours. Generally, such an exercise will be outdoors in various weather environments using collapsed structures, rubble piles, realistic training scenarios, and props.

5. Training Drills

The number of rostered members in the task force who have participated in and supported training drills over a period. Training sessions and drills are static, component trainings that are short in duration. They are conducted periodically in a classroom or outdoor facility for the purpose of meeting initial training requirements or continuing education requirements of skills review.

Check out Part 1 of this blog series here: [Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Readiness Areas: Logistics Readiness](https://www.d4htechnologies.com/blog/post/20170303-urban-search-and-rescue-usr-readiness-areas-logistics-readiness “Part 1”)

Check out Part 3 of this blog series here: Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Readiness Areas: Management

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