Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces: Facts and Issues
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Since the early 1990s, Urban Search and Rescue USAR Task Forces have been certified, trained, and funded by the Federal Government. Twenty-eight task forces are located in 19 states. Department of Homeland Security DHS officials may call out the task force or forces in closest proximity to the disaster to help locate and extricate victims from collapsed buildings and structures. The task forces represent a partnership involving Federal Government, local government, and private sector experts. Most recently, USAR teams received considerable publicity, and reportedly achieved life-saving results in their mission to Haiti after the earthquakes of early 2010. Legislation pending before Congress would affect the USAR system in two ways. First, H.R. 119 would designate a New Jersey task force to be part of the system. Other legislation H.R. 706 and H.R. 3377 would establish statutory authority and federal funding for a USAR response system. Members of Congress will consider FY2011 funding for the task forces during the second session of the 111th Congress, and may elect to debate issues associated with the deployment of USAR task forces to foreign countries.
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law
- Escape, Rescue and Survival