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Urban Search & Rescue

The US Army Corps of Engineers Urban Search & Rescue Program (US&R Program) deploys specially-trained and equipped structural engineers (Structures Specialist Cadre) to augment FEMA Urban Search & Rescue Task Forces, incident support teams, military technical rescue organizations, and general purpose troops during structural collapse incidents and other disaster response missions. This rescue engineering capability provides technical support and advice to task force leaders and commanders to assess damage, mitigate hazards, enable safe entry, and assure mobility throughout a disaster site to enable rescue and life saving operations. The US&R Program develops doctrine, training programs, and national standards for structural collapse response operations, conducts initial training courses, advanced coursework, exercises and continuing education for all FEMA Urban Search & Rescue Structures Specialists and others, under Emergency Support Function (ESF) #9 of the National Response Framework. On order, the program deploys its Cadre to conduct heavy structural assessments, in support of USACE ESF #3 responsibilities and other military and civil contingency requirements.