What is an Urban Search and Rescue Task Force?

An Urban Search and Rescue task Force is used to locate, remove and provide medical care to persons in collapsed buildings.

What type of incidents does an urban search and rescue task force respond to?

Building collapses resultant of earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks or construction and industrial accidents.

How many people are deployed with the Task Force?

62 persons and 4 search dogs comprise the deployed Task Force.

How many total people are involved in the Task Force?

To ensure 62 persons can deploy at any given time, federal requirements mandate that each position be staffed three deep. In total, 186 people are necessary to properly staff the Task Force.

Who is in charge at the disaster site?

The Urban Search and Rescue Task force is designed to assist the local control of the incident.

Are there training standards?

Missouri Task Force 1 has trained and equipped following the rigorous Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) guidelines.

How large is the equipment cache?

More than 16,200 separate equipment items are maintained in inventory and sent when the Task Force is deployed. Total equipment cache weight is in excess of 76,000 pounds. The equipment cache is carried on seven military airlift pallets and requires two tractor-trailers for transport.

How much is the equipment worth and who pays for it?

The complete Task Force equipment cache costs just under $1.7 million. The cache is provided through state and federal grant funds along with private donations.

Is the Task Force equipped to support itself on a mission?

The Task Force is designed to be self-sufficient for up to 72 hours. After that the military re-supplies the Task Force.

What are the minimum training standards?

Minimum training for Task Force members includes an 80-hour Structural Collapse Technician course. Members must also be certified in CPR and licensed as Emergency Medical Technicians. Specialty training is then provided to individual disciplines.

Who pays the personnel costs?

All personnel involved in the development, training and preparation of the Task Force have volunteered their time and effort. To date, more than 90,000 hours have been donated by Task Force personnel. During a federal deployment, the federal government pays personnel expenses.

What are the qualifications of the structural specialists?

Structural engineer Task Force members are licensed professional engineers in Missouri.

How is the Task Force Managed?

Missouri Task Force One is managed by the Boone County Fire Protection District under an agreement with the State Emergency Management Agency.

How do members receive specialty training?

Training for Task Force members is funded by the Sate Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Specialty team members have attended structural school in California and Ohio, technical search school in Pennsylvania and Maryland and logistics training in Texas.

What medical qualifications do members have?

Medical group members are emergency trauma physicians, emergency room nurses and paramedics and have completed a week-long disaster medicine course conducted by George Washington University.

Where does the Task Force train?

The urban search and rescue training facilities are provided by the University of Missouri-Columbia, College of Engineering; University of Missouri Administrative Services; and the Boone County Commission.

Where does the Task Force obtain its medical support?

The University of Missouri Hospital and Clinics has provided by tremendous assistance in the support of the medical team.

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