Urban Search and Rescue Virginia Task Force 1

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VA-TF1 members conduct a rescue operation after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Urban Search and Rescue Virginia Task Force 1 or VA-TF1 is a FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Task Force based in Fairfax County, Virginia. VA-TF1 is sponsored by the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.[1]

Established in 1986 as a domestic and international disaster response resource, sponsored by the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, Virginia Task Force 1 is rostered by approximately 200 specially trained career and volunteer fire and rescue personnel, with expertise in the rescue of victims from collapsed structures, following a natural disaster or terrorist attack.[2]

The team is composed of emergency managers and planners, physicians and paramedics and includes specialists in the fields of structural engineering, heavy rigging, collapse rescue, logistics, hazardous materials, communications, canine and technical search.

Virginia Task Force 1 has partnerships with the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency for domestic response and the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance to provide international response to natural and man-made disasters. As a part of the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department, the task force maintains constant operational readiness as a local resource for residents of Fairfax County and surrounding jurisdictions.[3]


  • November 2008 Panama Flooding[7]
  • February 2008 Bolivian floods[8]
  • October 2002 Danube River Flooding, Czech Republic[7]
  • July 1998 Balkan Food Drop in Pescara, Italy[7]


  1. ^ "US&R Task Force Locations". FEMA. Retrieved August 28, 2006. 
  2. ^ "Virginia Task Force One". Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue. Retrieved November 8, 2008. 
  3. ^ http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/disaster_assistance/partners/ USAID Disaster Assiatance Partners Index
  4. ^ "Tsunami Update 4: Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) deploying to Japan". FEMA Blog. FEMA. 11 March 2011. Retrieved March 15, 2011. 
  5. ^ http://www.usaid.gov/press/releases/2010/pr100112.html USAID Responds Immediately to Haiti Earthquake PRESS RELEASE January 12, 2010
  6. ^ http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100113/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_us_haiti_earthquake US sending rescue teams to Haiti after big quake
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Past Missions". vatf1.org. 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  8. ^ "Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Assisting With Bolivian Floods". vatf1.org. 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  9. ^ "Three VA-TF1 Members Deploy to Peru Earthquake Disaster". vatf1.org. 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  10. ^ "VATF-1 Activated for Hurricane Ernesto". vatf1.org. 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  11. ^ a b http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr/news/2009archive/2009_080.htm