Summary of position expectations

  • Assessing the structural integrity of buildings and other structures (bridges, levees, etc.) within the task force operational area, to include identifying structure types, specific damage, and structural hazards 
  • Providing recommendations for making structures usable by task force as needed
  • Recommending the appropriate type and amount of structural shoring and support and supervise the rescue teams building shores to ensure structural integrity and minimize danger to task force personnel
  • Providing recommendations to task force tactical action plans as appropriate
  • Cooperating with and assisting other search and rescue resources
  • Monitoring assigned structure for condition changes while rescue and recovery operations are proceeding
  • Assuming an active role in implementing approved structural hazard mitigation as a designer, inspector, and possibly an unofficial supervisor 
  • Coordinating and communicating the structural related hazard mitigation with US&R IST Structural Unit Leader, to include translating complex engineering concepts into layman’s terms for general understanding
  • Performing additional tasks or duties as assigned for a mission


  • Current license as a Professional Engineer (PE) specializing in structures or equivalent. Equivalency accepted includes all of the following:
    • Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering (or similar curriculum) from a college or university that is recognized by a state licensing board 
    • Five years of experience in any phase of structural engineering, including the teaching of subjects pertaining to structures, structural safety, and structural collapse 
    • A letter from the individual’s FEMA US&R Task Force expressing the support of task force leadership and the task force structures specialists addressed to the FEMA US&R Structures Subgroup chair for consideration 
    • Individuals who are licensed architects by any state may be considered as having equivalent certification, based on the requirements listed above 
  • Possess a minimum of five years of experience in structure design, review or analysis to include evaluation of existing structures, field investigation or construction observation experience
  • 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 

  • Complete the FEMA US&R GPS Awareness Level Course 
  • Complete the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Structures Specialist 1 Training course 
  • Complete the required technical rescue skill sets and additional required rope rescue skills

Annual Training Requirements 

  • Either an Operational Readiness Exercise (3 days) or a Mobilization Exercise (2 days)
  • 1 Regional Training (1 day)
  • Structural Specialist Skill Set (1 day)
  • Another Skill set from one of the following (2 days)
    • Rescue Skills Set
    • Search Skills Set
    • Plans Skill Set
  • Attend the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Structures Specialist 2 Training course every five years 
  • Attend the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Structures Specialist Regional Training every two years 

Training Recommendations

  • FEMA US&R Structural Collapse Specialist – Instructor-Led Training 
  • FEMA US&R Planning Team Training – Instructor-Led Training 
  • Complete the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Structures Specialist 2 Training course every five years
  • Attend the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) StS Regional Training every two years
  • FEMA US&R GPS Operations Level Course 
  • Swiftwater Rescue Levels I&II
  • Wide Area Search
  • MGT-314 (If pursuing a leadership role)
  • ICS-300 and ICS-400 (If pursuing a leadership role)

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 cost is position-specific:

  • State Engineering License

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