Thursday, May 30, 2024
The FEMA Urban Search & Rescue System

The National Urban Search and Rescue Response System, under FEMA structures local emergency personnel into integrated disaster response task forces.


What is a Structures Specialist?

A Structures Specialist performs various structural assessments for an Urban Search & Rescue Task Force during incident operations. The StS reports directly to the Planning Team Manager, but will often be assigned to the Search Team or Rescue Team Manager.


US Army Corps of Engineers
US Army Corps of Engineers

As part of the National Response Plan, the US Army Corps of Engineers is designated as the agency that facilitates and conducts US&R training for Structures Specialists that are part of the National US&R System.

NOTE: The training that is listed on the upper right Training & Event Schedule is intended for StS. However, other members of a ligitamate US&R TF or Team may be admitted if space is available


Training & Event Schedule
US&R StS Western Regional Training
Start Date/Time: Saturday, October 5, 2024 (UTC -06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)
End Date/Time: Sunday, October 6, 2024 (UTC -06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)

This event is Tentatively planned to be hosted by CA-TF6 in Riverside, CA, but is also contingent on available funding.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Response System, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), has scheduled a Structures Specialist (StS) “Regional Training” (RT) Course to be held October 5-6, 2024, at the CA-TF6 Training Site in Riverside, CA.  This will be the THIRD delivery of the “Version 8” curriculum.  This training course is offered to Task Force StS who need initial or refresher training in Damaged Building Assessment, Crane Chart use, Shoring Size-up/Design, Survey 123, Task Force interactions during an US&R response and Advanced Total Station Monitoring.  Students who completed StS1 training and any previous RT training are highly encouraged to attend this RT “skills enhancement” session.  Other non-engineer Task Force personnel are also encouraged to attend for awareness level training. This training will sharpen and add to knowledge that will enhance the Task Force capabilities and readiness.


The Regional Training sessions are intended for Structures Specialists in the region to minimize or eliminate the impacts to one’s daily job. The Central Regional Training doesn’t preclude other StS from outside the region from attending.  These weekend courses will consist of short review lectures, tabletops, and field exercises.  The StS will be using the StS Forms for the tabletop and monitoring training portions of the class.  The end result is for the StS to be as prepared as possible for a deployment.



Deployment Log
Hatteras Village, NC, September 22, 2003 -- Twisted electrical lines hang from a collapsed building in Hatteras Village in the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel. Photo: Cynthia Hunter/FEMA News Photo is designed to be a source of information that will improve the safety and efficiency of Structural Collapse Rescue Response. This is an independent site, and is not sponsored or supported by the Federal Government. The information contained herein is not warranted by the DHS/FEMA National US&R Response System, and they take no responsibility for its content.