Georgia Search and Rescue Task Force

Georgia’s Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) program was established and funded under the authority of the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) 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 teams are located throughout the state and all teams are a part of the state’s US&R program. They can be mobilized within two to four 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
  • Sinkholes
  • Terrorist activities
  • Tornadoes
  • Trench cave-ins

Requirements & Operations

All teams except for Task Force 8 meets all requirements of a FEMA Type II Urban Search and Rescue Task Force and include firefighters, who are certified in multiple 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 GSAR members have completed the minimum of EMS first responder training. Most have obtained hazardous materials technician-level training. In addition to meeting FEMA Type II for a US&R Task Force, GA-TF5 and GA-TF9 meet the requirements of a FEMA Type I Swift / Flood Water Rescue Team.

GA-TF5 units are housed across the state:

Task Force 1 - Gainesville/Hall County 

Task Force 2 - Valdosta

Task Force 3 - Augusta

Task Force 4 - Houston County/Warner Robbins

Task Force 5 - Savannah/Pooler 

Task Force 6 - Calhoun/Catoosa 

Task Force 7 - Dekalb/Atlanta/Clayton/Fulton/Gwinnett/Cobb 

Task Force 8 - Ware County 

Task Force 9 - Columbus 

During US&R operations, the task force utilizes a variety of apparatus including:

  • Collapse response truck
  • Collapse support trailer
  • Logistics trailer
  • Boats
  • Swift/floodwater rescue trailer