How Michigan USAR Task Force 1 Stays Mission Ready Using D4H
The world of search and rescue has changed dramatically. As population growth has accelerated and cities have expanded, the focus has increasingly turned to urban space, the most complicated and high-risk environment in which such operations are carried out. Urban search and rescue (USAR) present a unique challenge, demanding both a highly specialized, yet multidisciplinary approach.
Michigan Urban Search and Rescue Task Force (MI-TF1), comprised of 155 people, is specially trained and equipped for large or complex Urban Search and Rescue operations. The multi-disciplinary organization provides five functional elements that include Supervision, Search, Rescue, Medical, and Logistics.
The Regional USAR Task Force is designed to work 12-hour operational periods and is totally self-sufficient for the first 72 hours. Transportation and logistical support are provided by the task force and may need to be supported by the requesting agency.
Michigan’s USAR incidents can be caused by a variety of events such as a tornado or terrorist incident that cause widespread damage to a variety of structures and entrap hundreds of people.
Other examples of events can range from mass transportation accidents with multiple victims to single-site events such as a trench cave-in or confined space rescue involving only one or two victims.
MI-TF1’s operations are unique in that specialized training and equipment are required to mitigate their incidents in the safest and most efficient manner possible. The team needs to maintain a constant fully-capable status, meaning it’s vital that their personnel are fully trained and their equipment is ready and maintained.
A team like MI-TF1 has many moving parts, making it laborious to manually keep up with equipment maintenance schedules and personnel qualifications. They needed a cloud-based system that would provide proactive alerts and help them move away from time-consuming spreadsheets.
D4H is specifically designed for the preparation, management, analysis, and prevention of incidents. MI-TF1 decided to deploy D4H as their complete team readiness solution.
“Urban Search & Rescue missions can be rare, but we must remain ready. MI-TF1 aims to maintain a fully capable mission status - we work hard on ensuring that we maintain logistic and personnel readiness. D4H helps ease the administrative challenges of maintaining our fully capable status. D4H has everything our task force needs in a single software package to administer our equipment, personnel, qualifications, and incidents.”
Will Walker, Records Management Administrator and Rescue Specialist, MI-TF1.
With D4H, MI-TF1 has been able to engage its personnel with a single tool where information is automatically gathered. Using D4H Equipment Management helps maintain their equipment cache as ready for deployment, ensuring they’ll never miss an inspection, repair, or expiry date. Designed specifically to manage USAR equipment such as cutting equipment, ropes, shoring materials, and confined space access gear, D4H summarizes their entire cache down to a single green traffic light as ready-to-go.
D4H Personnel & Training delivers a complete USAR Technician, Team Leaders, and K9 training schedule, ensuring all aspects of the team’s curriculum are covered on a regular basis. MI-TF1 can also ensure that they’re spending training budgets on team members that deploy the most often and that their best personnel receive regular refreshers while getting suitable experience in the field.
D4H Incident Reporting helps MI-TF1 create its own reporting system with accurate USAR deployment data. They can ask any question regarding the task force and determine the answer with a single click. D4H allows the team to prove the value of their specialism with accurate reporting on onshoring, collapses, trenches, and confined space rescues.