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
Structures Specialist Certification Course (StS1)
Start Date/Time: Friday, October 25, 2024 (UTC -06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)
End Date/Time: Thursday, October 31, 2024 (UTC -06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)

Tentative Host by NASA Ames DART at Moffett Field, CA


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 certification course (StS1) to be held 25-31 Oct 2023, at the NASA Ames DART facility, Moffett Field, CA.  Note: this is a 6-day training course.  This very important training is offered to Task Force Structures Specialist (StS) candidates who have not previously taken StS1. The course is open to other non-engineer Task Force personnel for awareness training. Prerequisites for official certification as a FEMA StS include the following: must have a current Professional Engineer’s License (P.E.) and be practicing in some area of structural engineering.  Students must also meet the requirements of his/her Task Force for local training and other participations.  Students who are not a licensed P.E., but have been scheduled to sit for their Professional Engineer’s exam, may apply for this training with the support of their Task Force.


This course will consist of a series of case studies, lectures, field exercises, and presentations of past rescue incidents.  There will be tabletop exercises and written examinations throughout the course.  The StS Candidate will be introduced to StS “Forms,” monitoring equipment, and basic operational training for GPS and Total Station equipment used during deployments.  The StS will also be introduced to the personnel accountability system used in the FEMA National US&R Response System.



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.