Technical Rescue - Part III

The NFPA 1670 Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Rescue Incidents provides the basis from which the development, training and operations for special operations technical rescue teams are measured against.


It is highly encouraged that efforts should be undertaken by departments and agencies seeking to development and enhance technical rescue capabilities, to research and obtain information from other departments and teams locally, regionally and nationally in order to gain the wealth of information that can be analyzed and disseminated with applicable information applied and augmented in order to meet with local team planning, logistics, training and team objectives.

This research, data acquisition and networking will save a tremendous amount of time and effort, without having to "re-invent the wheel" for program planning on technical rescue team applications. There are many teams and departments that have developed highly effective technical response teams over the years and the process by which they developed, the procedures & methods utilized for operations and the tool & equipment utilized coupled with the enhancements that have been adopted through field-proven and mission specific situations can only help to provide time-proven data and information.

It is imperative that departments and agencies considering developing specialized technical rescue team capabilities understand the long-term commitments required and the level of dedication necessary to fulfill the operability and usefulness of the team's activation and mission readiness. Furthermore, take into consideration the manner in which your technical rescue team will fit into the larger scheme of the emergency response matrix.

Local level response capabilities are where you need to make your team operable, but at the same time do not loose sight of the fact that your capability and resources are part of a larger upper tiered system. Under the capabilities and limitations of these special operations technical rescue or urban search and rescue systems, components and task forces. Reflect upon what we have learned thus far from the events of 9.11 in New York City and in Washington, D.C. What you do and have on the local level may one day be called upon to integrate into a larger, more complex unified effort to mitigate the consequences of significantly challenging and demanding events.

A department's should never loose sight of the applicability or need to implement or enhance to the identified types and levels of technical rescue service(s), if there is a true need or risk present or postulated within the jurisdiction or community. As in the 1980's, many jurisdictions quickly implemented hazardous material teams as the wave of this concept and need swept throughout the service only to find that the demands of time, financial support, and commitment levels necessitated a re-evaluation of their level of commitment and degree of involvement.

The current levels of interest being generated within the areas of specialized operations technical rescue are increasing the awareness of many jurisdictions as to the needs and applications for increased focus on enhanced technical rescue capabilities. Some departments are blinded by the high-tech applications and are drawn into program initiatives for reasons that have no actual basis or need on local or regional levels community requirements. Others have recognized the need, but cannot support the implementation due to internal limitations. Seek out alternatives, identify potential cooperative efforts between departments, across imaginary jurisdictional boarders, and between different agency compositions.

Although the needs are evident and the regulatory requirements for their application present, the most appropriate method for meeting those demands and community based risks must be carefully analyzed and the most financial sound and relevant method and system selected in order to meet current and projected incident response demands.