Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) is the location, medical stabilization, and extrication of victims that are trapped in confined spaces or otherwise hazardous environments. These types of situations could include earthquakes, hazardous materials releases, transportation accidents, tsunamis, floods, and acts of terrorism. US&R requires an extensive amount of initial training to obtain certification. It also calls for a demanding level of continuing education for each participating fire department member. Urban Search and Rescue is a discipline requiring highly skilled individuals with technical knowledge, specialization, and the willingness to work in the most dangerous conditions. The Orange City Fire Department US&R certification process is comprised of five different areas of study: ·Confined Space Rescue ·Trench Rescue ·Swift Water Rescue ·Rescue Systems I ·Rescue Systems II The Fire Department has a total of 72 personnel certified in all five disciplines. This group of highly trained technicians makes up over half of the department’s total members. Additionally, a total of 19 US&R certified fire department personnel are members of California Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 5 (CA-TF5) which consists of local fire department personnel, search specialists, canine search teams, physicians, structural engineers, and heavy-rigger specialists. Task Force 5 is one of 28 nationally recognized teams by The U.S Department of Homeland Security/FEMA, and has responded to events such as Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, the Sacramento floods, and the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma City.
Several members of Orange City Fire Department are also certified as master instructors by the California Office of the State Fire Marshal. They study and train to keep us safe when disaster and tragedy strike us as a community or as individuals. They also take their expertise directly into fire academies to teach the next generation of firefighters. The fire department is dedicated to protecting the community from any disaster that may threaten, and to prepare the next generation of firefighters to answer the call.