The #AtoZChallenge is over, but I couldn’t just leave the challenge hanging without trying to make up the letters I missed. Unfortunately a bout with a bit of vertigo due to cerumen impaction, complicated by history of cholesteotoma, had me pretty much down and out for a couple days. Even once “back up”, I wasn’t running up to par for a few days and then there was all the dreaded “catch-up”… You know, all the stuff that didn’t get done while you were down & out that now needs to be done. Sadly the AtoZChallenge was pretty much at the bottom of that list (at least when it came to family). But enough on the excuses and complaining… On to (finishing up) the challenge.
USAR stands for Urban Search and Rescue. While not specifically related to firefighting or the fire service I figured it was as a topic for U as any and (if I’m not mistaken) in at least some cases firefighters are even a part of the USAR team
USAR (US&R) is a task force made up of a team of individuals specializing in urban search and rescue, disaster recovery, and emergency triage and medicine. The teams are deployed to emergency and disaster sites within six hours of notification.
The Tools used by the US&R Task Force fall into one of 5 categories:
- Search and Rescue
- Technical Support
The medical portion includes medical treatment and tools to provide sophisticated medical treatment for victims and task force members, including limited treatment of disaster search canines.
Items included in the medical cache are medicines, intravenous fluids, blankets, suture sets, airways, tracheal tubes, defibrillators, burn treatment supplies, bone saws and scalpels.
Search and Rescue
The Search and Rescue portion contains all the equipment that the Search and Rescue teams will need to extricate victims from debris. Technical search tools include telescopic cameras with heat detecting sensors and seismic listening devices.
Construction type equipment such as concrete saws, jackhammers, drills and rope, and technical rescue type equipment such as lifting airbags, shore systems, and hydraulic rescue tools.
Generators, lights, radios, cellular phones, laptop computers. Task Force personnel will be issued portable radios at the point of departure to a disaster and are responsible for that radio until the Task Force returns to the point of departure. The radios operate in the 403-430 MHz range and are capable of penetrating structures and below grade environments (i.e. underground).
Snake-like cameras, fiberscopes, sensitive listening devices, measuring devices, and support equipment for canines such as kennels, harnesses and sleeping pads
Sleeping bags, cots, food and water, as well as cold weather gear, portable toilets, portable showers, safety equipment such as gloves, earplugs, kneepads, respirators and protective eyewear; administrative equipment such as office supplies and reference materials; equipment maintenance materials and Task Force member’s personal gear.
The complete load of equipment weighs 60,000 pounds and is designed to be transported by tractor trailer or in the cargo hold of one C-141 transport aircraft or two C-130 transport aircraft. The equipment allows the Task Force to operate independently for up to four days. The cache contains five categories of equipment:
Join me on an A to Z Journey of firefighting tools throughout the month of April. I appreciate feedback. Please keep in mind that I am not (nor do I pretend to be) a firefighter or a member, either volunteer or paid, of the fire service. My purpose here is to pass on knowledge that I find in hopes to both bring awareness to the fire-service and to help those in the profession do their job safer and better.