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The Durham Police Department is searching for Samuel Cole Middleton
July 25, 2015 6:17 PM -- The N.C. Center for Missing Persons has issued a Silver Alert for a missing endangered man, Samuel Cole Middleton.

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The Durham Police Department is searching for Tony Ray Gunter
July 10, 2015 11:08 AM -- The N.C. Center for Missing Persons has issued a Silver Alert for a missing endangered man, Tony Ray Gunter.

Urban Search and Rescue

North Carolina's Urban Search and Rescue teams respond quickly to help locate and rescue victims trapped in collapsed buildings or structures. 

Statistics show that 90% of all savable victims of disaster are saved within the first few hours of an incident. Seven regional USAR teams are strategically positioned across the state provide almost immediate relief to the victims and the communities they live in through the rapid deployment of properly trained and equipped search and rescue personnel. 

North Carolina's USAR program began in 2001 to respond to every kind of disaster anywhere, at anytime in the state. All training and equipment for the USAR teams is standardized across the state. At a minimum, teams maintain skills, training, equipment and qualified personnel to respond to a wide array of disasters. Based on the location and type of incident, the State Emergency Operations Center identifies the most appopriate resource to send. 

Under the direction NC Emergency Management, USAR teams help communities that have been overwhelmed by natural or manmade disasters and have exhausted local and neighboring jurisdiction's resources. NC Urban Search and Rescue taskforces do not take over the scene, but work to support the needs of the local incident commander in providing anything from  technical support to a full taskforce response. 

Training

The Charlotte and Raleigh fire departments provide the main training centers for North Carolina USAR teams because of the world-class facilities and FEMA-qualified instructors located there. All USAR training and equipment are standardized. Team members receive 100 hours of initial training in structural collapse. Other specialized, position specific training is held throughout the state by qualified instructors.

USAR Teams come from fire, law enforcement, rescue, and EMS agencies, both paid and non-paid professionals. Personnel must meet all training criteria as set forth by NC Emergency Management and be rostered by the sponsoring agency. NCEM does not manage membership on individual taskforces; that is done by the sponsoring agency. 

Deployment

Based on the location and type of incident, the State Emergency Operations Center will identify the nearest, most appropriate taskforce for the mission. The amount of personnel and scope of the event determines the number of  teams deployed. The hosting agency is responsible for staffing the team and also are required to manage and absorb the costs associated with deployment pending reimbursement from the state. 

Taskforce personnel will be available to be deployed  24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Each taskforce maintains a sufficent enough personnel roster to deploy from initial notification within four hours. In the event of a prolonged or large-scale disaster, multiple taskforces can work on an operational rotation to support the sustained response requirement.

If the incident is larger than local capabilities, including skills, training, and equipment, a call for assistance can be made to the State Emergency Operations Center. NC USAR taskforces each have an extensive equipment cache with highly specialized rescue equipment and personnel with just as specialized training. Taskforces also have access to specialized subject matter experts in various specialties such as heavy lifting and moving, building collapse engeeniring, and technical as well as wide area search.

Type I Taskforces can provide:

  • Up to 80 personnel
  • Completely self-sufficient for 72 hours
  • Designed to maintain 24 hour a day operations
  • Can respond with smaller response packages based on incident requirements
  • Can provide other specialized search and rescue resources to respond to all-hazards
  • Equivalent collapse response capability to a FEMA USAR TaskforceCapabilities include heavy concrete breaching and breaking, in addition to wood frame strutural responses

Type II Taskforces can provide:

  • Up to 40 personnel
  • Two Type II Taskforces can combine to become a Type I Taskforce
  • Completely self-sufficient for 72 hours
  • Designed to maintain 12 hour a day operations
  • Can respond with smaller response packages based on incident requirements
  • Capabilities include heavy concrete breaching and breaking, in addition to wood frame strutural responses

More Information

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