Region 9 USAR Task Force
Washington State NE Fire Defense Region 9 is a 5 county area in Northeastern Washington which includes Spokane County as its hub and primary population center. The service area has a very diverse incident risk potential which runs the gamut from natural disasters and incidents, steep terrain and difficult access, construction/ and industrial accidents and acts of terrorism requiring advanced rescue capability. The Inland Empire Fire Chief’s Association working with the Spokane County/City DEM has identified the need for an enhanced level of rescue response capability within the region known as USAR (Urban Search and Rescue). The Spokane County fire service agency’s all participate in the Spokane County Fire Mutual aid agreement coordinated by the Inland Empire Fire Chief’s Association Disaster Planning Committee. The Spokane County Fire Resource plan is part of the NE Washington Fire Defense Plan and the Washington State Fire Resources Mobilization Plan. The City of Spokane, the Spokane Valley Fire Department and Spokane County Fire District 9 have established Technical Rescue Teams within each of their agencies to address these specialized rescue needs within their service areas. They however lack the required equipment, structural collapse rescue training, incident management and logistical support as individual agencies to address this identified need. The IEFCA Disaster Planning committee was task with the development of a regional USAR Type 2 Task Force by building on the capabilities of the three existing TRT’s. Spokane County DEM received 03, 04 and 2005 grants to purchase initial USAR equipment, trailers and training for lead instructors to initiate the Regional USAR Task Force.
The mission of the Region 9 USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) Type 2 Interagency Task Force is to develop a framework to provide highly specialized, technical rescue services to local fire service agencies that are overwhelmed by natural and/or manmade disasters.
It is recognized that a tiered response to rescue incidents will be used to provide a prompt initial response which can be reinforced to the level necessary using the closest available resources. Local fire agencies are encourage to develop and maintain the appropriate initial response to all risk natural and manmade rescue incidents which may include local agency technical rescue teams.
The Spokane County based Region 9 USAR Type 2 Task Force (R9-TF-1) will be a reinforced interagency response resource. The R9-TF-1 will serve as a regional resource available to local fire agencies in Spokane County through mutual aid and available for mobilization throughout the region and the State of Washington. The R9-TF-1 will be a trained and equipped to provide timely technical search and rescue services at the USAR Type 2 level to local fire agencies supported by public-private partnerships.
The initial participation will be made up primarily of the TRT members of the City of Spokane, the Spokane Valley Fire Department and Spokane County Fire District 9. The membership of the R9-TF-1 will be open to any qualified personnel of Spokane County Fire Service agencies beginning Nov. 1 2006. Participation in the R9-TF-1 is voluntary for the agency and its personnel. The participating Spokane County Fire Service agency must endorse and support its personnel’s participation. Agency personnel remain employees or volunteers of their host agency.
The IEFCA Disaster Planning Committee will provide policy guidance and oversight to R9-TF-1 for purpose of providing safe, efficient use and support for this valuable mutual aid resource. The IEFCA Disaster Planning Committee will establish a USAR Working Team to serve as an operational/technical advisory group. The USAR working Team will have a maximum of 8 members. The USAR WT will be tasked to develop recommendations for the R9-TF-1 organization structure, training and equipment standards, response protocols, critical partner agencies, training and equipment needs and expense planning. The USAR WT will report to and provide its recommendations to the IEFCA Disaster Planning Committee for final action. The USAR WT will consist of representatives from the City of Spokane, Spokane Valley Fire Department and Spokane Fire District 9. And other cooperating agencies as necessary. The USAR WT will select its own chair and co-chair annually to oversee their working team activities. The USAR WT may appoint subordinate specific task groups as necessary to complete their duties.
The funding for the R9-TF-1 will be challenging due to the interagency task force participation. Each participating agency will be responsible for their agency’s personnel and equipment costs. We will utilize available state and federal grant programs to assist us in supporting the USAR Task force. We will also develop and utilize standard equipment rental/use rates for use with state mobilization. The participating agencies will seek authorized reimbursement under the Washington State Mobilization Plan when possible.
Level of Service
The service goal of the R9-TF-1 is to provide an enhanced technical rescue response using an interagency task force at the type 2 level. Specifically, the R9-TF-1 will be capable of providing Rope Rescue, Structural Collapse, Confined Space, Machinery/Vehicle, Trench Collapse and Water/Ice Rescue capability.
The R9-TF-1 will be made up of interagency members with between 24-36 members. If adequate members are available we will use a two team concept of operations with a rotating duty cycles similar to the MIST. This concept would allow for 24 hour staffing or response to two separate incidents.
The R9-TF-1 will strive to train and equip USAR personnel to meet the NFPA 1671 STD.
The participating mutual aid agencies are encouraged to train their personnel to at least the awareness level of NFPA 1671 std. to provide initial response and to recognize the need for and support a reinforced response.
Tiered Rescue Response
The R9-TF-1 response protocol will approved by the IEFCA Disaster Planning Committee based on recommendations from the USAR WT.
The response protocol shall be based on a tired incident response which can be augmented as necessary.
Initial response, size-up, light rescue (Engine/Ladder/Rescue Co’s)
TRT or Specialized Resource if available
Additional TRT/Specialized Mutual Aid Resource if available
R9-TF-1 Type 2 Regional USAR Task Force, MIST, AC,
Additional regional USAR Task Force (R9-TF-2)
FEMA USAR Type 1 Task Forces, IST and/or IMT, Large Scale
Incident Management and Support
The R9-TF-1 will develop the operational organization structure necessary to support a safe effective operation. The Spokane County MIST will be utilized to provide incident management, planning and logistical support for R9-TF-1 when deployed in Task Force configuration.
Spokane County Fire District 9
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