Urban Search and Rescue Missouri Task Force 1

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Missouri Task Force 1 Patch

Urban Search and Rescue Missouri Task Force 1 (MO-TF1) is a FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Task Force based in Boone County, Missouri.[1] The task force is sponsored by the Boone County Fire Protection District and is designated as the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Response Team for the state of Missouri.[2]


MO-TF1 is capable of performing the following operations:

  • Conduct physical search and rescue operations in damaged/collapsed structures, flooded areas and transportation accident scenes
  • Provide emergency medical care at disaster sites for trapped victims and task force members
  • Carry out reconnaissance duties to assess damage and determine needs, then use that information to provide feedback to all agencies involved
  • Provide disaster communications support using state-of-the-art satellite systems
  • Conduct hazardous materials surveys/evaluations of affected areas
  • Assist in stabilizing damaged structures, including shoring and cribbing operations

Urban search and rescue (US&R) involves the location, rescue (extrication) and initial medical stabilization of victims trapped in confined spaces. Structural collapse is most often the cause of victims being trapped, but victims may also be trapped in transportation accidents, mines and collapsed trenches.

Urban search and rescue (US&R) is considered a "multi-hazard" discipline, as it may be needed for a variety of emergencies or disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, storms and tornadoes, floods, dam failures, technological accidents, terrorist activities, and hazardous materials releases. The events may be slow in developing, as in the case of hurricanes, or sudden, as in the case of earthquakes.

If a disaster event warrants national US&R support, FEMA will deploy the three closest task forces within six hours of notification, and additional teams as necessary. The role of these task forces is to support state and local emergency responders' efforts to locate victims and manage recovery operations.

Each task force consists of 70 specially trained personnel (two 35-person teams), four canines and a comprehensive equipment cache. US&R task force members work in four areas of specialization: search, to find victims trapped after a disaster; rescue, which includes safely digging victims out of tons of collapsed concrete and metal; technical, made up of structural specialists who make rescues safe for the rescuers; and medical, which cares for the victims before and after a rescue.


Members of MO-TF1 rescuing a couple of Hurricane Katrina victims.

The task force is divided into six specialized teams.[3]

The search team is responsible for entering a collapsed structure to locate victims and identify hazards. The team uses electronic listening devices, fiber-optic cameras capability and specially trained search and rescue dogs.[3]
The rescue team is responsible for cutting through concrete, metal and wood to reach the victims once they have been located.[3]
Hazardous Materials
The hazmat team focuses on detecting any hazardous materials at the scene.[3]
The medical team, composed of physicians and paramedics, provides emergency medical care for both victims and task force members.[3]
The logistics team has communications and logistics specialist that provides support for the other teams.[3]
This final team is made up of technical information specialists, hazardous materials specialists and structural engineers that assess the potential for additional collapse and other hazards.[3]

Member Departments[edit]


Federal deployments[edit]

State Deployments[edit]


  1. ^ "FEMA USAR - MO-TF1". City of Clayton. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "USAR Task Force Locations". FEMA. Retrieved August 28, 2006. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Organization". Boone County Fire Protection District. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 

External links[edit]