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Special Operations Teams

The firefighters and paramedics in our organization are trained in a variety of specialties to address the many hazards that exist within the District. Personnel are trained in technical rescue, swiftwater rescue, and hazardous materials.  

 

Members of the department serve on Missouri Task Force 1 – a Federal Urban Search and Rescue Team, Strike Team 5, and the regional Incident Support Team.

Always Remember
CALL 9-1-1
In The Event Of A Medical Emergency
technical rescue team

Technical Rescue Response

Multiple members of our department are trained to accept any challenge to rescue individuals caught in a building collapse, confined space, trench collapse, or any location where access to the patient is restricted. We have extensive training in rope, high angle, confined space, and trench rescue. Our technical rescue protocols are based on the programs taught to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces.

Several of the Eureka Fire Protection District Technical Rescue Team are also members of Strike Team 5 and Missouri Task Force One, a FEMA-sponsored urban search and rescue team based with Boone County Fire District.

Missouri Task Force One logo

The Eureka Fire Protection District Technical Rescue Team can be contacted Eureka Fire House 1 at 636-938-5505.

Swiftwater rescue team rescuing man in flood

Swiftwater Operations

Several department members are rescuers and instructors for swiftwater rescue techniques. This includes rescuing victims from moving water, such as rivers, and still waters, such as lakes or ponds. The Eureka Fire Protection District has approximately 37 miles of rivers and inland waterways to protect. Our swiftwater rescue technicians use ropes, boats, and flotation equipment to reach victims of flooding incidents. Flatbottom jet-powered boats are ideal for use in the shallow but swift waterways of the Eureka Fire Protection District and are housed at Stations 1 and 2. An inflatable rescue boat is housed at Station 3.

Missouri Task Force 1: Urban Search & Rescue

Urban Search and Rescue, or USAR, is a team of 186 members qualified and equipped to respond to search and rescue victims trapped or entombed in collapsed reinforced concrete and steel structures. A USAR Task Force responds as an 82-member team that is a highly sophisticated, personnel-intensive, equipment-intensive, and training-intensive program. Missouri Task Force One {MO-TF1} is the only team in Missouri. MO-TF1 is based out of the Boone County Fire Protection in Colombia, MO. The task force operates as a state disaster resource under the State Emergency Management Agency. In addition, the task force is also a resource for FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, available for response throughout the United States and its territories.

Missouri task force at U.S Air Force base
US Task Force suitecase

Strike Team 5

Multiple Eureka Fire Protection District personnel are members of Strike Team #5, an essential component of an all-hazards, regional approach to emergency management. Strike Team 5 is a part of the St. Louis Area Heavy Rescue Task Force.

 

The St. Louis Area Heavy Rescue Task Force comprises five Rescue Strike Teams that are a part of the STARRS (St. Louis Area Regional Response System) network. These strike teams are in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson/Franklin Counties, and Madison/Monroe/St. Clair counties in Illinois. The capabilities of each strike team include responses to trench collapses, building collapses, and major rope rescue/confined space incidents. Additionally, each strike team has the capability to function for a period of up to 72 hours without any outside support or re-supply. These increased capabilities directly benefit regional rescue operations, whether at a single-site incident or in a disaster/multi-site setting.

 

When a disaster strikes the region, units are deployed to support either technical rescue operations or search and rescue operations. Strike Team #5 consists of members from many area departments with specialized training to deal with heavy rescue situations, such as building collapse, trench rescue, etc. This team is available to go anywhere in the State of Missouri as requested.

 

Strike Team #5 has over 100 individual members (combined rescue and support personnel). All rescue personnel have had technician-level training in all of the designated venues of technical rescue. Many members are also certified Fire Officers, Paramedics, and Hazardous Materials Technicians, and all members are required to be NIMS compliant. Also on the roster are command staff personnel to support Strike Team Leader, Safety, Planning, and Logistics positions. Additional support personnel from the professional trades are also in place to support heavy rigging, crane operations, and engineering support operations. Sponsorship for each participating member is supported by their home-based district/department or professional organization. Participating agencies are committed to the strike team by allowing their personnel to respond to incidents and supporting those personnel with insurance coverage, personal equipment, and personal needs.

Each response will include a Strike Team Leader, a Safety Officer, a Search Team Manager, a Rescue Team Manager, a Logistics Section, and a Plans Section. Under each, squads will be assigned for search operations, rescue operations, medical, logistical, and ground support, and plan development and documentation. This organizational structure can expand or contract to meet the needs of an incident, including 24-hour around-the-clock operations.

 

Logistical support items include six Western Shelters, portable generators, portable air conditioners and heating units, portable lighting, sleeping bags, waterless bathroom facilities, showers with water filtration, and containment systems. The strike team will also respond with water and food supplies for up to 72 hours of strike team operations without re-supplying from an outside source. Additional communication assets are also assigned to support a large-scale operation. The response of an ambulance and Engine Company with the strike team also provides the capabilities to establish medical operations for strike team members should they respond to an area where no medical support is available and provide a pressurized water source for suppression, rescue, or support operations.

Incident Support Team logo

Incident Support Team

Several members of the Eureka Fire District are also members of the "Region C" Incident Support Team (IST). This team has approximately 80 members from Fire, EMS, Law Enforcement and Emergency Management from the several counties in the S. Louis Region. 

 

The team is trained to respond and assist Missouri Communities requesting assistance in managing large scale Incidents and Events. Team members have specialized training Incident Command, Operations, Planning, Logistics, Finance & Administration, and many other assignments. The Incident Support Team can deploy very quickly and is flexible enough to set up operations in a fixed facility or bring its own equipment including Mobile Command Post, Support equipment such as Western Shelters and large generators.

Eureka Fire Protection District Command Center
Command center tent
Personnel in Eureka Fire Protection District Command center
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