Technical Rescue

USAR IST: Providing Search and Rescue Support in Oklahoma City

Issue 11 and Volume 148.

USAR IST: Providing Search and Rescue Support in Oklahoma City BY MARK GHILARDUCCI Shortly after 0900 hours PST on April 19, 1995, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) organized and dispatched one of its Urban Search and Rescue Incident Support Teams (IST) in response to the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The IST was needed to coordinate and manage the several incoming National Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Forces activated to assist in the rescue efforts at the Murrah Building. Upon notice of the event, two USAR Task Forces initially were put on alert and subsequently activated by FEMA–from the Phoenix and Sacramento City fire departments. Simultaneously, FEMA activated an IST, including Assistant Chief Kim Zagaris, California Office of Emergency Services Fire and Rescue Division; Division Chief Jim Hone, Santa Monica (CA) Fire Department; Battalion Chief Ray Downey, City of New York (NY)…

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