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Technical Search & Rescue

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Technical Search & Rescue
NFPA 1670: Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents is the essential document that identifies and establishes levels of functional capability for conducting operations safely and effectively while minimizing threats to rescuers.

With natural and manmade disasters seemingly on the rise, NFPA 1670 is a must for professionals in organizations providing technical search and rescue at the awareness, operations or technician level. It regulates incidents involving rope rescue, structural collapse, confined space entry, floodwater, urban search and rescue, mines, tunnels, and much more.

NFPA 1670 identifies the need for a certain level of training, proper documentation, SOP’s, hazard identification, risk assessment, incident response planning, equipment, safety, fitness, etc. The various levels of preparedness within each of these areas, is what should be assessed for each organization

After successfully completing this course, learners will have a competent and fundamental understanding of Technical Search & Rescue.

The fundamentals of technical rescue covered include:
• Conducting hazard identification and risk assessments
• Planning for incident response (e.g. addressing rescuer safety, operational capability, and equipment and training needs)
• Determining the level of functional capability for a rescue organization that could be involved in a technical search and rescue incident.
There are three (3) identified levels of operational capabilities for a technical search and rescue incident.
• Technician Level- “This level represents the capability of organizations to respond to technical search and rescue incidents, to identity hazards, use equipment, and apply advanced techniques specified in this standard necessary to coordinate, perform, and supervise technical search and rescue incidents” (4.1.2-3)
• Operations Level- “This level represents the capability of organizations to respond to technical search and rescue incidents and to identify hazards, use equipment and apply limited techniques specific in this standard to support and participate in technical search and rescue incidents” (4.1.2-2)
• Awareness Level- “This level represents the minimum capabilities of organizations that provide response technical search and rescue incidents” (4.1.2-1)

Currently NFPA 1670 addresses 7 different rescue disciplines. They are as follows:
1) Structural Collapse
2) Rope Rescue
3) Confined Space Search and Rescue
4) Vehicle and Machinery Search and Rescue
5) Water Search and Rescue
6) Wilderness Search and Rescue
7) Trench Evacuation Search and Rescue

Trenching & Excavation OSHA Fact Sheet:

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