1. #1
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    Default USAR Task Forces & Technical Rescue Teams

    Guys, I have some questions for those out there that have a USAR Task Force within their department (we are a large city which currently dedicates 10 companies to a USAR Task Force; 4 Engines, 3 Rescues. 3 Trucks). I realize there's a difference between a Technical Rescue Team and a USAR Task Force. We are looking at revamping a few things, so I wanted to poll the masses.

    Here they are, feel free to PM if you want;

    - Does it matter what company you are assigned to determine if you are a USAR member? Or, can you be a member of the USAR Task Force regardless of your company assignment?

    - Is there a time requirement for you to be on the job before you can become a member of the USAR and/or Technical Rescue Team?

    - If you are a company based USAR Task Force, what's the break down of Engine Companies, Ladder Companies and Rescue Companies which are considered "USAR"?

    - How often do you a train as a Task Force, not including "in the firehouse"?

    - Do you place companies out of service for Task Force training, or do you back-fill them to keep them in service?

    - As far as Technical Rescue Teams go, how many companies within your department are considered to be "technical rescue team" companies?

    - How often do you have formal technical rescue training?

    Thanks!!

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    RFD,

    I am by no means an expert on the matter. The way I understand it is that the USAR Task Forces are a federal assett that is managed locally by the sponsoring department. My department (Memphis Fire) is the sponsoring agency of TN-TF1 but the task force has members from most of thew surrounding departments as well as technical specialists such as physicians, engineers, ane equipment operators from the private sector. The program is funded federally and during a deployment the vacancies created are backfilled on FEMAs dime. If you want further information shoot me an email and I can forward your contact information to somebody who is on the task force.
    FTM-PTB

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    Montville, thanks. Like I said above, i know what the Task Force is, but can you answer any of the questions I asked in my original post?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDGloWorm View Post
    Guys, I have some questions for those out there that have a USAR Task Force within their department (we are a large city which currently dedicates 10 companies to a USAR Task Force; 4 Engines, 3 Rescues. 3 Trucks). I realize there's a difference between a Technical Rescue Team and a USAR Task Force. We are looking at revamping a few things, so I wanted to poll the masses.

    Here they are, feel free to PM if you want;

    - Does it matter what company you are assigned to determine if you are a USAR member? Or, can you be a member of the USAR Task Force regardless of your company assignment?

    - Is there a time requirement for you to be on the job before you can become a member of the USAR and/or Technical Rescue Team?

    - If you are a company based USAR Task Force, what's the break down of Engine Companies, Ladder Companies and Rescue Companies which are considered "USAR"?

    - How often do you a train as a Task Force, not including "in the firehouse"?

    - Do you place companies out of service for Task Force training, or do you back-fill them to keep them in service?

    - As far as Technical Rescue Teams go, how many companies within your department are considered to be "technical rescue team" companies?

    - How often do you have formal technical rescue training?

    Thanks!!
    Our department doesnt deploy a USAR task force per se. Most members of our Rescue company and Squad companies are members of PA TF-1. In order to get the training from our department you need to submit an application when a class is planned then members are selected for entry into the technical rescue school. In this school you get the rope/trench/haz mat/structural collapse/water rescue/advanced BVR/confined space and special fire ground operations training. Once training is complete you are able to fill vacancies in our SOC companies. You are also able to apply to PA TF-1 should vacancies occur. Most members end up getting assigned to a SOC company eventually but some stay with their previously assigned company and fill in as manpower dictates.

    I havent read the requirement for application to the technical rescue school in years so I dont remember senority requirements.

    Occasionaly during training members are back filled dpending on funding and its requirements and allowances.

    We have 3 companies that are "technical rescue companies" our rescue and 2 squad companies.

    Ummm...what else?

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    Much smaller city (110,000 pop.), but sure. I'll try to address each question.

    We run a TRT team that does rope, swiftwater, trench, confined space, heavy vehicle/machinery extrication and some structural collapse. We are out of one station with an Engine and a Rescue.

    We cannot house all our TRT members at one station, so we have the others scattered throughout the city, some on Trucks some on Engines. I don't think it matters what apparatus they are assigned to since once they are on scene the apparatus doesn't matter. If we need an aerial to use as a high point or something, we'll call for it. The TRT is centered on the highly trained people, not the apparatus they arrive on. The only apparatus that is key is the Heavy Rescue which carries all our toys.

    Once off their probation department members are allowed to begin the training to become TRT members. If they can swing it the training will take a year to get Tech Level (Level II now) but usually longer.

    We do a monthly training with all three shifts of TRT guys. We also do a county drill monthly, as we support the county team (we are probably the largest, most robust part of the county team). The real training though is done at the company level where everyone gets a chance to get hands on the basic stuff like patient packaging or MA systems, try to do it each shift. When we do the team level training only certain people get to play on what tasks they get assigned.

    When we train we go out of service, available to respond to any technical rescue of course, but for fires and medicals we get the next due to cover it.

    Once you have your certifications we get put into training groups that yearly go and get refresher training on a discipline from an outside agency (TEEX, Roco, RESET, GDEM, etc...). We have three training groups, and rotate the discipline annually. If there is a training opportunity that comes up we are encouraged to take it, so we all get one formal class a year and then some.

    Hope I answered everything, hope it was helpful.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    Their web site may help you...


    http://www.fema.gov/emergency/usr/
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Thanks for all of the feedback. Very helpful, would love to hear from more of the bigger cities. Can anyone answer my questions in relation to how Fairfax runs things?

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    Check your PMs!
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
    ------------------------------------

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    Message received...muchas gracias.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDGloWorm View Post
    Thanks for all of the feedback. Very helpful, would love to hear from more of the bigger cities. Can anyone answer my questions in relation to how Fairfax runs things?
    ummm....ok

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    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Quote Originally Posted by PFDSquad47 View Post
    ummm....ok
    I don't get it...I say "thanks" for the feedback but I get "ummmmm...ok" as a response. Sooooo, saying "thanks" is wrong or what? Fill me in Squad....

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDGloWorm View Post
    I don't get it...I say "thanks" for the feedback but I get "ummmmm...ok" as a response. Sooooo, saying "thanks" is wrong or what? Fill me in Squad....
    I'll help you out here.

    You asked:

    Quote Originally Posted by RFDGloWorm View Post
    Can anyone answer my questions in relation to how Fairfax runs things?
    To which he evidently has knowledge so he replied:

    Quote Originally Posted by PFDSquad47 View Post
    ummm....ok
    I found the exchange mildly amusing.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDGloWorm View Post
    Thanks for all of the feedback. Very helpful, would love to hear from more of the bigger cities. Can anyone answer my questions in relation to how Fairfax runs things?
    I guess I read it wrong. It seemed like you were asking general questions. I didnt realize you were really looking for Fairfax specific answers. I have no knowledge as to how Fairfax conducts their training and staffs their companies. I can only give you info about Philly. My bad.

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    RFD -

    I assume you are looking for ideas for an internal response vs. a state or out-of-state response. Have you talked to anyone in Greensborro or Charlotte?

    I'm an operations Captain in Charlotte and would feel more comfortable sharing information offline (city internet/social media policies). If your interested drop me a note at jmatthe2@msn.com.

    Jeff

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