The Rescue Specialist is responsible for performing the rescue function of the task force incident operation. The Rescue Specialist reports directly to a Rescue Squad Officer.

Description of Duties

The Rescue Specialist is responsible for:

  1. Implementing technical skills and operating equipment necessary for completing the rescue portion of the action plan.
  2. Performing rescue operations under the direct supervision of a Rescue Squad Officer and providing periodic progress reports as needed.
  3. The operation and routine field maintenance of rescue tools and equipment.
  • Adhering to all safety procedures
  • Ensuring accountability and maintenance for all issued equipment
  • Performing additional tasks or duties as assigned
  • Evaluating and modifying rescue tactics as needed

Position Requirements and Criteria

Individuals who meet the following requirements and criteria will be eligible to become Rescue Specialists in the FEMA National US&R Response System. These requirements intend to select personnel fully capable of providing the rescue tactics and techniques required in a disaster environment. The requirements and criteria for the position are identified in the following categories:

  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Abilities

Knowledge

The Rescue Specialist:

  1. Must be a current state certified/licensed Emergency Medical Technician – Basic or equivalent by 7/1/2007. If the individual was a team member prior to 07/01/2006 the Rescue Specialist must be trained to basic first aid only.
  2. Must be knowledgeable of safety considerations during US&R operations.
  3. Must meet the prerequisites outlined in Chapter 3 NFPA 1006 (2000 Edition), Standards for Rescue Technician Professional Qualifications.
  4. Shall have successfully completed the FEMA/US&R Structural Collapse Technician course. If team member prior to 7/1/04 Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) may sign team member off based on previous training and experience.

Skills

The Rescue Specialist should:

  1. Be proficient in the skills required for Rope Rescue as outlined in Chapter 4 NFPA 1006, Standard for Rescue Technician Professional Qualifications.
  2. Be proficient in the skills required for Confined Space Rescue as outlined in Chapter 7 NFPA 1006, Standard for Rescue Technician Professional Qualifications and the Duties of the Entrant and Attendant as per OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.146 Permit Required Confined Spaces.
  3. Be proficient in the skills required for Trench Rescue as outlined in Chapter 9 NFPA 1006, Standard for Rescue Technician Professional Qualifications.
  4. Be proficient in the skills required for Vehicle/Machinery Rescue as outlined in Chapter 6 NFPA 1006, Standard for Rescue Technician Professional Qualifications.
  5. Be proficient in the skills required for Structural Collapse Rescue as outlined Chapter 8 NFPA 1006, Standard for Rescue Technician Professional Qualifications.
  6. Be proficient at the Technician Level for Structural Collapse as outlined in Chapter 5 NFPA 1670, Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents.
  7. Be proficient in the skills presented in the FEMA/US&R Structural Collapse Technician course.
  8. Understand specialized technical rescue terminology.
  9. Be proficient in rescue strategy, tactics, and operations.

Abilities

The Rescue Specialist must:

  1. Be able to integrate with local resources, other US&R Task Forces and on-scene rescue teams.
  2. Be able to use specialized extrication equipment (per manufacturers’ specifications).
  3. Be able to effectively communicate orally and in writing.

General Requirements

  1. Must be able to meet the physical requirements of the sponsoring agency with or without accommodations.
  2. Must be available on short notice to mobilize within six hours of request and be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours for a response assignment of up to 10 days in austere environments.
  3. Must be capable of improvising and functioning for long hours under adverse conditions.
  4. Must maintain current inoculations for Diphtheria/Tetanus (or Tetanus only if there is a contra-indication to Diphtheria), Hepatitis A & B, Measles/Mumps/Rubella (if born after 1957), and Polio.
  5. Must be able to function safely at heights and on or around rubble.
  6. Must be aware of the signs, symptoms and corrective measures of critical incident stress syndrome.
  7. Must understand and adhere to safe working practices and procedures as required in the urban disaster environment.
  8. Must have a working knowledge of FEMA’s US&R Response System, organizational structure, operating procedures, safety practices, terminology, knowledge of all task force equipment, and communications protocols.
  9. Must have successfully completed the First Responder Operations Level for Hazardous Materials as per OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.120 Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response.
  10. Must be currently certified in America Heart Association (or equivalent) Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation – Basic Life Support.
  11. Must have a working knowledge of the Incident Command System including successful completion of the IS-100, IS-200, IS-700 and IS-800 online courses.
  12. Successful completion of the DHS/FEMA US&R Orientation Course or equivalent.
  13. Successful completion of Respiratory Protection training and quantitative fit test per 29 CFR 1910.134
  14. Successful completion of the DOJ Emergency Response to Terrorism, Basic Concepts or equivalent.
  15. Successful completion of the FEMA/US&R WMD Enhanced Operations
  16. Successful completion of Awareness Level training per NFPA 1670 including;
  • Confined Space Operations
  • Water Rescue Operations
  • Structural Collapse Operations

17. Successful completion of GPS Awareness Level course (Garmin 62 or comparable)
18. Must understand the needs of and provide support to their counterparts within the task force for specific operations, techniques and application of tools and equipment.
19. Must possess training and experience in personal safety in US&R environments.
20. The authority having jurisdiction shall assure that the individual meets or exceeds the required knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA’s).