Recently I was put in a situation that made me start thinking about getting a usar team started in the county i live in--but how would i get started---the steps that need to be taken----i would want this team to specialize only in this---probably ranging from 15 to 20 people--any help or suggestion greatly appreciated.

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See if there are any other teams in your state. I bet they would be absolutely excited to help another team get started. Also, check our places like NASAR that specialized in this, they may have start up suggestions. This is the website for the State Urban Search and Rescue Alliance. If your state has a USAR team there should be contact information for them at this site.
Starting an USAR team will require a huge time commitment from your dept's members...check out the below link.
Lots of time and money. You are looking at about 40 hour classes for each rope 1, 2, trench, confined space, collapse 1,2 so about 240 hours just to get certs, quite a task for 15 to 20 people, especially to just "volunteer" their time, otherwise there should be pay issues involved too. Then there is the issue of equipment, procuring that, how to haul it, procuring that, etc. Then there is the time committment involved to try to keep up with just remembering the stuff. The reality is that the chance of being utilized is slim and is easy to forget such info. Then there is the issue of getting people to show up for USAR trainings and even the event of an actual call. Reality is you are looking at almost everyone to show up to do all tasks involved, which may not likely happen.

Back in the early 2000's here, there were so many depts sending people for USAR and starting a tech team, the money dried up fast from the state (most depts couldn't afford it on their own) and everyone got involved. Now there is only one team for the state with a few depts that have the equipment and are able to respond. This is a huge undertaking and not something that is just easily started up on a whim and there is the issue about continuing on when it does get started. How do you handle and train new members? etc.

Now if there are established USAR teams that you could get involved with, try that. Otherwise I would suggest looking in for some basic training for some rope stuff, confined space, etc from a USAR team and worry about simple things that you can do before implementing a USAR team. If you are still doing the USAR team, good luck, look into everything, but in the end it may be in practical to implement, it is a very time consuming and costly project.

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