Fire EMS, Firefighting, Hazmat

FEMA Urban Search & Rescue Operations

Issue 6 and Volume 166.

BY LARRY COLLINS The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)/Department of Homeland Security played a lead federal role in the immediate emergency response to Hurricane Sandy, providing urban search and rescue (US&R) and humanitarian support to state and local governments and the people most acutely affected by this disaster. FEMA’s US&R Branch in Washington, D.C., activated 13 80-member FEMA US&R task forces around the nation, ultimately deploying nine. It deployed two US&R Incident Support Teams (IST), totaling 65 members, in support of state and local search and rescue (SAR) efforts. FEMA also activated a nine-member Federal Search and Rescue Coordination Group (FSARCG). The FSARCG facilitates a well-coordinated federal SAR response by providing experts from each of the Federal Emergency Support Function (ESF) #9 (SAR) partners: the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Interior/National Park Service, the National Guard Bureau, the Department of Defense’s Northern Command, the Department of Health and Human…

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