Summary of position expectations

  • Searching structures in US&R environments or other locations indicated in the mission assignment, utilizing appropriate technical search equipment and techniques
  • Detecting, locating, documenting and marking locations of victims, potential victims and hazards
  • Working with canines to coordinate and flank (watch dog to see if it is signaling/detecting)
  • Making assessments through the use of technical search equipment and
  • Navigating land and mapping sites
  • Cooperating with and assisting other search and rescue resources
  • Providing accountability, maintenance, and minor repairs of 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)

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 Technical Search Specialist
  • 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)
  • Skill Set (2 days)
  • Optional Monthly Zoom meeting (1 Hour)

Expected Additional Time Commitment

Please note that the Technical Search Specialist position is likely to be deployed more often than other positions, as these members are deployed to instances of flooding and victim searches where other personnel are not be needed.

Training Recommendations

  • FEMA US&R Canine Search Specialist
  • FEMA US&R Search Planning and Management
  • FEMA US&R Structural Collapse Specialist
  • 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 1&Level 2)
  • Swiftwater Rescue Levels I&II
  • Wide Area Search
  • MGT-314
  • A canine emergency field care course
  • Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Drone course

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