I first remember hearing someone utter the acronym US&R (Urban Search & Rescue) in the late 1980s. I was at the National Fire Academy, sitting in the pub drinking a beer with a group of other students. It was one of my Executive Fire Officer stints, and Hank Blackwell (then an assistant chief from New Mexico) was telling me about his assignment to San Francisco for the earthquake a few years ago. Now, we didn’t have anything like that in Toledo-no organized team. In fact, I believed at the time that US&R was a “West Coast thing” because of the earthquakes and all the other “stuff” that happens there. How times have changed!For several reasons, the...

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