Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces

There are 28 Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Forces in the United States. If the President issues a disaster declaration, the Department of Homeland Security can deploy one or more Task Forces to the affected area to help locate and extricate victims from collapsed buildings and structures. The US&R Task Force closest to Coeur d'Alene would come from Seattle by either ground or air. The Task Forces are fully self-sufficient for their first 72 hours on-site. Though the Task Forces are local government entities, they are part of the federal emergency response network as they receive funding, training, and accreditation from the federal government.

On January 10, 2005, The Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, released a six-page report entitled Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces: Facts and Issues. This report identifies some selected issues Congress may elect to consider when they consider the Administration's FY-2005 funding request and the Task Force's operations. Those issues include the creation of additional task forces, authorization, funding, and redundancy.

An even more comprehensive (and interesting) description of the US&R Task Force's functions, training, and activities is available through numerous links on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website.


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