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FEMA Mobilizes Twelve Urban Search and Rescue Teams

Release date: 
September 11, 2001
Release Number: 

» National Urban Search and Rescue Response System

Washington, DC -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency has deployed 12 Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Teams -- eight to New York and four to Washington DC -- to search for victims in buildings damaged by Tuesday's apparent terrorist attacks. The teams operate around the clock, and include engineers and other technical experts and specially trained search dogs.

The National US&R, coordinated by FEMA, provides for the response of expertly trained and well-equipped urban search and rescue teams from over the country to assist when local resources are overwhelmed.

FEMA's US&R teams are trained and equipped to handle any structural collapse, and consist primarily of local emergency services personnel from 18 states.

Units deployed to New York include:

Massachusetts Task Force 1
Ohio Task Force 1
Missouri Task Force 1
Pennsylvania Task Force 1
Indiana Task Force 1
California, Task Force 1, Task Force 6, and 7

Units deployed to Washington, DC include:

Virginia Task Force 1
Maryland Task Force 1
Virginia Task Force 2
Tennessee Task Force 1


  • Physical search and rescue operations in damaged/ collapsed structures.
  • Emergency medical care for trapped victims, task force personnel and search canines.
  • Reconnaissance to assess damage and needs, and provide feedback to local, state and federal officials.
  • Assessment/shut off of utilities to houses and other buildings.
  • Hazardous materials survey/evaluations.
  • Structural/hazard evaluations of buildings needed for immediate occupancy to support disaster relief operations.
  • Stabilizing damaged structures.

Real Player IconAudio file of Dave Webb, National Urban Search & Rescue Unit Chief, describes the deployment of task forces to New York and Washington, D.C.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:59