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The South Carolina Urban Search and Rescue Task Force (SC-TF1) is the state's largest and most highly trained search and rescue asset. The team is guided by the South Carolina Firefighter Mobilization Committee, which was created by the South Carolina Firefighter Mobilization Act of 2000. For day-to-day operations, the task force has a staff of five personnel (two full-time and three part-time), overseen by Daniel McManus. None of this would be possible with out the full support we receive from the Office of the State Fire Marshal and its parent agency, the Department of Labor Licensing and Regulations (LLR).
SC-TF1 exceeds the requirements of a National Incident Management System (NIMS) Type I US&R Task Force, and can be mobilized within four to six hours after proper notification through the state warning point. The team normally responds via ground transportation, but has the ability to respond using military air transportation, should the need arise. SC-TF1 deploys as a fully self-sustained resource, which means the team will not require any resources from the requesting agency, other than an area to stage its base of operations. All of the 153 current members of the task force average 10-15 years within the fire service and have received over 200 hours of specialized training, not only in the rescue discipline, but also the FEMA - required course work for the task force position they have achieved. The task force supports (but is not limited to) the following operations during deployment: structural collapse, disaster triage and assessment, large area search (urban, wilderness or water borne), four (4) canine teams, disaster medical team (medical center) and a myriad of rescue operational experience.
There are four (4) NIMS Type I US&R Incident Support Teams (IST) with emergency response vehicles pre-positioned throughout the state. These rapid assessment teams can be on scene within hours of notification, depending on the location. The IST deploys with a complete communication package, including radios (UHF, VHF, 800 MHz), Internet and satellite phones. Subject matter experts are available for the following disciplines: US&R command, planning, rescue (heavy rigging), technical search, medical, canine, communications, logistics and hazardous materials. The mission of this component is to rapidly deploy upon notification and assist the local and/or regional incident command staff in making initial damage and rescue assessments.
SC-TF1 is a part of the state's emergency operations plan and can be deployed in-state through the State Mutual Aid Agreement, or out-of-state through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).