Georgia Search & Rescue Task Force

About the Team

Georgia’s Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) program was established and funded under the authority of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) in 2003. It was designed to establish a framework of local emergency services personnel that are trained and integrated into disaster response task forces. Georgia Search and Rescue Task Force 5 (GA-TF5), which is also known as the coastal task force, is part of the state’s US&R program and can be mobilized within four to six hours after proper notification for deployment in-state through the State Mutual Aid Agreement, or out-of-state through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).

US&R is considered a "multi-hazard" discipline, as it may be needed for a variety of emergencies or disasters, including:

  • Confined space rescue
  • Earthquakes
  • Floods
  • Hurricanes
  • Industrial accidents
  • Storms
  • Sink holes
  • Terrorist activities
  • Tornadoes
  • Trench cave-ins

Requirements & Operations

The GA-TF5 meets all requirements of a FEMA Type II Urban Search and Rescue Task Force and includes 98 firefighters certified in technical rescue disciplines. These disciplines include high angle, confined space, trench, vehicle / machinery extrication, wide area search and rescue, wilderness search and rescue, swift / flood water, and heavy structural collapse. All GA-TF5 members have completed a minimum of EMS first responder training and most have obtained the hazardous materials technician level training as well. In addition to meeting FEMA Type II for a US&R Task Force, GA-TF5 meets the requirements of a FEMA Type I Swift / Flood Water Rescue Team and FEMA Type II Wilderness Search and Rescue Team.

GA-TF5 units are housed and operate out of Savannah Fire and Emergency Services’ Station 9 (2235 Capital Street). During US&R operations, the task force may utilizes a combination of available apparatus that includes:

  • Collapse response truck
  • Collapse support trailer
  • Logistics trailer
  • Boats
  • Swift / flood water rescue trailer

Sponsors & Funding

GA-TF 5 is sponsored by two primary agencies (Savannah Fire and Emergency Services and Camden County Fire Rescue), but includes members from surrounding agencies. During daily operations, these personnel operate with their primary agency and are activated as needed.

Funding for GA-TF5 is through the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.