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 Search and Rescue 



NIMS Category:       OPERATIONS
Primary Agency:     SRU (Local Fire Department Function)
Support Agencies:  Butler County Emergency Services
                                Borough Emergency Medical Services
                                County Emergency Medical Services
                                County Fire Departments
                                Commonwealth, County, and local Police Departments

A. Purpose

Emergency Support Function (ESF) # 10 – Campus Search & Rescue coordinates the elements of specialized lifesaving search and rescue operations in the event of a major disaster or emergency. Operational activities include locating, extracting and providing on-site medical assistance to victims trapped in collapsed structures.
B. Scope
1.     Search and rescue operations include local fire and rescue personnel who are trained and experienced in collapsed structures, search and rescue operations. ESF # 9 coordinates with PEMA Urban Search & Rescue personnel in the event of a County based situation, which requires the activation and deployment of PA Task Force One.
2.     Potential operations include:
        • Conducting needs assessments.
        • Conducting searches of collapsed structures.
        • Providing technical advice and assistance to County, State and Federal
3.     The Campus Search & Rescue ESF team, or its individual members, may  participate in debris management activities. For more information on debris management please refer to the Debris Management Plan.

Situations & Assumptions
A.     In situations that involve structural collapse, large numbers of people may require rescue and medical care.
B.     Because the mortality rate among trapped victims rises dramatically after 72 hours, Search and Rescue must be initiated without delay.
C.     In the course of response, rescue personnel may encounter extensive damage to the local infrastructure, such as buildings, roadways, public works, communications, and utilities.
D.     Weather conditions such as temperature extremes, snow, rain and high winds may pose additional hazards for disaster victims and rescue personnel.
E.     In some circumstances, rescue personnel may be at risk from terrorism, civil disorder or crime.

Concept of Operations
A. General

1.      Information regarding the extent of the incident will be collected to enable the team to develop an appropriate response strategy.
2.     An assessment of the regional transportation network will be conducted and the information analyzed to determine the feasibility of access to the incident site or zone.
3.     Weather forecast information will be obtained and disseminated to municipalities and the disaster site(s) to aid in local planning or response operations.
4.     The National Urban Search and Rescue Response System (US&R) consists of Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces, incident support teams and technical specialists. Each task force is comprised of 62 individuals organized in 31 positions. The positions are organized into five functional teams (management, search, rescue, medical and technical), with each team staffed to permit around the clock operations.
5.     Incident Support Teams are organized, trained and mobilized by FEMA Headquarters. In disasters, one or more Incident Support Teams may be dispatched to the affected area to:
   • Conduct a comprehensive US&R needs assessment.
   • Provide technical US&R assistance, support and advice to Federal, State and
      Local officials.
   • Provide US&R management and coordination assistance and expertise to the
      ESF # 9 Leader and the Federal Coordinating Team Officer at the Disaster
      Field Office.
• Under the direction of the ESF # 9 Leader, provide coordination of the 
      operation of multiple task forces in the field.
   • Coordinate logistical support of deployed task forces beyond their initial 72
      hour period of self-sufficiency with the Regional Operations Center and 
      Logistics sections, ensuring compliance with FEMA property management
   • Re-entry decisions and actions will be coordinated with the affected local
   • Resource needs and requests will be obtained from County departments and 
      mission assignments.
   • Missions will be tracked, and resources will be reassigned as they become
      available for subsequent uses.
All team members will monitor activities and deployment to ensure the core duties of their organizations can continue to be performed.