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Nebraska Task Force 1 is one of 28 US&R task forces in the national disaster response system under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  NE-TF1 was established in 1993 with Lincoln Fire & Rescue Department as our sponsoring agency.  


Urban Search & Rescue is a multi-hazard discipline as it may be needed for a variety of emergencies or disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, severe storms and tornadoes, floods, dam failures, technological accidents, terrorist activities, structural collapse and hazardous materials release.


Each task force consists of trained, equipped, and organized personnel capable of conducting Urban Search and Rescue. The task forces have been designed to include search, rescue, medical and technical elements to provide an integrated, self-contained approach to locating, extricating and treating victims.  Under the Federal Emergency Management Agency the operational concept for activation of NE-TF1 will be predicated on a request from the President of the United States for a federal response, or the Governor of Nebraska for an in-state response. 

The Task Force


Each task force has 70 specialized positions divided into four major functional elements: Search, Rescue, Technical, and Medical  


Each task force is organized in the same way.  This chart shows all positions and how they are organized within each task force.


Every Task Force in the system is assessed every three years to ensure the program is being managed and operated correctly. Each is evaluated on five exercise modules and three readiness areas as follows:

 Five Exercise Modules:


Transportation of personnel and cache capabilities

Establishing a Base of Operations (BoO)

Onsite Operations 


Three Readiness Areas:



Operations Readiness:  Availability of a complement of rostered, trained, deployable, and exercised members.              

Management Readiness:  Are resources, plans, agreements, processes, and procedures in place to support deployments, and meet requirements of the US&R System's Readiness Cooperative Agreements and other audit requirements.

Logistical Readiness:  Availability of equipment cache and other logistic resources to support immediate deployment.  



The Incident Support Team (IST)

NE-TF1 has several members who hold positions on the Incident Support Team


Members from Task Forces across the country make up the Incident Support Team(IST). These are highly qualified specialists who's purpose on the US&R IST is to maximize the speed with which task forces are mobilized and utilized. IST members are activated from a roster of qualified personnel on a rotating basis.

The IST must be available on short notice to mobilize within 2 hours of request.  IST members must be self sufficient for at least 24 hours and prepared for a response assignment of up to 14 days.  An IST equipment cache is organized into functional kits and includes communications equipment (telephones and radios), computers, printers, and administrative office supplies.  


When a significant disaster occurs, an Emergency Response Team is dispatched by the affected FEMA region to join with State emergency management personnel to coordinate Federal assistance.  The US&R IST is a component of the Emergency Response Team (ERT), serving in the ESF #9 Group in the ERT Operations Section, Emergency Services Branch. 


Upon activation by FEMA Headquarters and under direction of the ESF #9 Leader, the US&R IST rapidly responds to an impending incident or one that has just occurred and assesses the need for and potential use of, FEMA US&R task forces or other resources.  The IST then provides Federal, State, and local officials with technical assistance in the acquisition and utilization of ESF #9 resources through advice, Incident Command assistance, management, and coordination of US&R task forces and logistical support.

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