The Heavy Equipment and Rigging Specialist is responsible for performing various assessments and construction-related liaison for the task force during incident operations. The Heavy Equipment and Rigging Specialist reports directly to the Rescue Team Manager.

Description of Duties

The Heavy Equipment and Rigging Specialist is responsible for:

  • Assessing the need for and capabilities of various construction-related equipment to assist task force personnel in US&R activities.
  • Identifying various rigging techniques to assist in the rescue of victims or stabilization of collapsed buildings, including the development of rigging plans and procedures.
  • Interacting with and coordinating efforts between the task force personnel and heavy equipment and crane operators.
  • Adhering to all safety procedures.
  • Providing accountability, maintenance, and minor repairs for all issued equipment.
  • Performing additional tasks or duties as assigned during a mission.

Position Requirements and Criteria

Individuals who meet the following requirements and criteria will be eligible to become Heavy Equipment and Rigging Specialists in the FEMA US&R Response System. These requirements intend to select personnel fully capable of providing competent assessments and advice to task force personnel in the urban disaster environment. The requirements and criteria for the position are identified in the following categories:

  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Abilities


The Heavy Equipment and Rigging Specialist must have:

  • Knowledge of the operational characteristics and capabilities of light and heavy construction equipment, such as load charts.
  • An understanding of the methods of construction and demolition of structures.
  • Knowledge of construction materials.
  • Knowledge of heavy rigging operations, to include:
    • Use and application of rigging tools.
    • Knowledge of lift capacity assessment.
    • Knowledge of lift engineering applications.
    • Knowledge of equipment maintenance and inspection procedures.
    • Knowledge in the use of anchor systems.
  • Knowledge of shoring methods and materials.
  • Knowledge of universal hand signals for heavy equipment.
  • Completed Basic Rescue Module (Appendix A) consisting of Confined Space (entrant), basic Rope Rescue, and Trench Awareness.
  • Suggested completion of the FEMA Heavy Equipment and Advanced Rigging Training course.