Rhode Island Urban Search & Rescue – Overview

The Rhode Island Urban Search & Rescue Task Force (RI-TF1) is a volunteer Urban Search and Rescue Team that is authorized by the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency. The team is capable of responding to terrorists incidents involving explosives as well as structural collapses caused by earthquakes, hurricanes, air crashes, and other natural or man-made disasters.

The goal in developing a local USAR (urban search and rescue) team in Rhode Island, is so that RIEMA will be able to respond more quickly to major disasters than would be the case if we strictly relied upon the Federal USAR teams. RIUSAR conforms to US&R Operational Procedures that were developed by FEMA. RIUSAR is a Task Force comprised of five major functional elements: Search, Rescue, Medical, Logistics, and Planning, including associated supervisory positions.

It is anticipated that each of the 70 positions on the team will be staffed two-deep, thereby increasing response capability. RIUSAR is also capable of deploying a smaller 34 person team, or speciality teams that will comensurate with the needs of the situation.

Urban search and rescue

USAR, refers to the search and rescue activities in and around collapsed buildings, particularly the collapse of large reinforced concrete structures. USAR teams consist of specially trained teams of search and rescue personnel, including canine teams, searchers with sophisticated search cameras and listening devices, engineers trained to assess structural stability, highly trained rescue personnel, concrete breaching equipment, and medical staff trained in treating those caught in a collapse.

Choose a discipline below to learn more about a specific area of USAR operations.

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