How are FEMA US&R teams different from other search and rescue teams?
A. FEMA teams organize existing search and rescue capability into a national program that can quickly deploy to an event. They have additional training, and must be able to deploy within six hours and to sustain themselves for 72 hours. They must also have a roster that fills 31 different positions with at least two people for each position. To receive the FEMA certification, the team must be approved by a US&R oversight board that includes leaders in the field and FEMA officials. One of the difficulties in obtaining the certification is being able to staff a complete roster of at least 62 trained individuals. Q. What kind of positions make up the 31 in each team? A. First, all team members are trained and certified emergency medical technicians. Then positions fall into roughly four categories: search and rescue; medical; technical and logistics. The search and rescue positions include engineers with expertise in shoring up, bracing, evaluating, breaching and lifting structural compon