Leadership

USAR Operations: An Overview

Issue 8 and Volume 147.

USAR Operations: An Overview THE NORTHRIDGE EARTHQUAKE Response to the Northridge Earthquake was immediate but difficult because of the complexities of simultaneous incidents and damage to the area’s infrastructure-i.e., power, water, and communications. The city of Los Angeles has experienced many disasters in its history and has developed preparedness plans that proved to be very effective during this event. Such plans include the fire department’s Earthquake Response Plan and Urban Search and Rescue Program, the city’s Emergency Plan and Community Preparedness Program, and a Regional Incident Command and Multiagency Coordination System. The state of California and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) systems provided the support needed for the technical rescue operations. Fortunately, the earthquake occurred before many of the major collapsed structures would have been occupied, or the City of Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) alone would have been faced with eight or 10 major…

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