Urban Search and Rescue Updated: Apr 5, 2022

The fire service as a whole evolves and adds additional services when a need is determined. Several major incidents in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s demonstrated the need for specialized “US&R” training, personnel and equipment.

The 1989 Loma Prieta and the 1994 Northridge earthquakes, and the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing, were prime examples of the need for fire service personnel to become trained, certified and equipped to rescue trapped people from collapsed buildings, parking structures and freeways.  This discipline was also expanded to include construction and transportation accidents, floods, mudslides, and terrorist events.
The US&R program at Santa Fe Springs evolved from a single resource for local emergencies into a larger, multi-agency task force that can respond anywhere in California. 

Santa Fe Springs is in partnership with the fire departments from the cities of Compton, Downey, and Montebello to form California Regional Task Force 2 (CA-RTF-2). When dispatched, the 29-member team assembles within 45 minutes for response to an incident. 
The State OES classified the Santa Fe Springs US&R program as “Type 1,” the highest rating available, which indicates the capability to perform search and rescue in collapsed concrete structures, confined spaces and trenches, as well as high-angle rope rescues.