Summary of position expectations

  • Implementing technical skills and operating equipment necessary for completing the rescue portion of the action plan
  • Performing rescue operations under the direct supervision of a Rescue Squad Officer and providing periodic progress reports as needed
  • Operating and conducting routine field maintenance of rescue tools and equipment
  • Ensuring accountability and maintenance for all issued equipment
  • Performing additional tasks or duties assigned
  • Evaluating and modifying rescue tactics as needed
  • Acting as a team liaison with other agencies and working with other agencies to complete tasks as needed


  • 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)

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 

  • Meet the requirements of 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 Level 1&2)
    • FEMA US&R Structural Collapse Specialist
  • FEMA US&R GPS Awareness Level
  • Maintain certification in Basic First Aid
    • Task force members currently licensed or certified as EMT or licensed board-certified emergency physicians inherently meet this requirement.
  • NFPA 1006 Surface Water Rescue (Technician or Level 2)
  • Wide Area Search

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

  • MGT-314 (If pursuing a leadership role)
  • ICS-300 and ICS-400 (If pursuing a leadership role)
  • FEMA US&R Technical Search Specialist
  • FEMA US&R Structural Collapse Specialist Level III, IV, and V

Optional Commitment

  • USAR Boat Operator
    • Surface Water Rescue – Chapter 11 NFPA 1006 Level 1 & 2
    • Swiftwater Rescue- Chapter 12 NFPA 1006 Level 1 & 2
    • Boat Operator – Chapter – 11 NFPA 1006
    • Rope Rescue – Chapter 6 NFPA 1006 Level 1 & 2
    • GPS Awareness Course
    • 800m swim test

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:

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

The following items are optional position-specific tools:

  • Prusik cords
  • Personal hand tool bags
  • Multitool
  • Flashlight
  • Chem lights
  • Zip ties
  • Tape measure
  • Speed square
  • Small equipment for shoring
  • Write in the rain notepad