Heavy Equipment and Rigging Specialist

Position Duties

  • Ensuring the safety of task force members by assessing hazards at disaster sites pertaining to the operations of cranes and other heavy equipment
  • Assessing the need for and capabilities of various types of construction-related equipment to assist task force personnel in US&R activities
  • Assessing disaster site for safe and efficient location of cranes and other heavy equipment
  • Preparing site for and assisting with positioning and setup of cranes and other heavy equipment
  • Identifying various rigging techniques to assist in the rescue of victims or stabilization of collapsed buildings, including the development of rigging plans and procedures
  • Interacting with and coordinating efforts between the task force personnel and heavy equipment operators, contractors and organized labor
  • Adhering to all safety procedures
  • Providing documentation to assist task force in procuring cranes and other heavy equipment, as well as maintaining daily logs
  • Providing accountability, maintenance, and minor repairs for all issued equipment
  • Performing additional tasks or duties as assigned


  • Physical Training Walk: Members must be able to walk 2 miles within 40 minutes carrying a thirty-pound pack (tested annually)
  • Medical Clearance: Members must be cleared by Medical Staff (renew every 3 years)
  • Experience in heavy construction field, such as heavy equipment operator, crane operator, iron worker, rigger, or other applicable field, or possess a minimum of three years of experience as a Rescue Specialist on a task force

Required General Training 

  • Complete prior to application (no cost):
  • Complete once accepted to the team (cost covered by Task Force):
    • Water Rescue Awareness
    • FEMA National US&R Response System Orientation – Computer-Based Portion
    • Blood-Borne Pathogen Training
    • Critical Incident Stress Awareness
    • CPR License (renew as needed)
    • Confined Space Search and Rescue Awareness
    • Structural Collapse Search and Rescue Awareness
    • Complete during New Member Orientation (cost covered by Task Force):
    • FEMA National US&R Response System Orientation- instructor-Led
    • First Responder Operations Level for Hazardous Materials (renew annually)
    • Respiratory Protection Training and Fit Test (renew annually)
    • FEMA US&R Enhanced Operations in the Contaminated Environment – Instructor-Led

Paperwork Requirements

  • After acceptance onto the Task Force, you will need to have the following documents on file:
    • Memorandum of Understanding (renew every 3 years)
    • Application for Federal Employment
    • Immunization Record
    • Signed Code of Conduct
    • FEMA Transmittal
    • FEMA Affidavit
    • TEEX General Release

Required Position-Specific Training 

  • FEMA US&R Heavy Equipment and Rigging Specialist

Annual Training Requirements 

  • Either an Operational Readiness Exercise (3 days) or a Mobilization Exercise (2 days)
  • 1 Regional Training (1 day)
  • Skill Set (2 days)

Training Recommendations

  • FEMA US&R Structural Collapse Specialist
  • NFPA 1006 Technical Rescuer at the Technician or Level 2
    • Rope Rescue (Technician or Level 1&2)
    • Confined Space Rescue (Technician or Level 1&2)
    • Trench Rescue (Technician or Level 1&2)
    • Vehicle and Machinery Rescue (Technician or 1&Level 2)
  • Swiftwater Rescue Levels I&II
  • Wide Area Search
  • MGT-314

Financial Requirement / Deployment Equipment List

Uniform items and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are provided by the Task Force, items not provided include:

  • Belt
  • US&R Boots
  • Sleeping clothes, Undergarments, and socks
  • Swimmer’s towel and small towel
  • Hygiene kit/Toiletries

The following items are optional for personal protection or comfort:

  • Additional bedding options for comfort
  • Wet wipes
  • Personal Hand Tools
  • Other items as desired