ITF1 conducts urban search and rescue training

362nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Story by Sgt. Thomas Belton

Date: 07.25.2014
Posted: 07.25.2014 19:23
News ID: 137378
ITF1 technician pilots MTGR into structure to assist civilians

MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. - Members of Indiana Task Force One (TF1) used power tools, such as chainsaws and pneumatic drills, to breach concrete walls during Exercise Vibrant Response ‘14 Wednesday. It’s all part of the training conducted during this exercise to better prepare for natural and man-made disasters. The task force is composed of police officers, firefighters and paramedics and is one of 28 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urban search and rescue teams in the country.

Vibrant Response is a joint exercise providing a realistic environment to bolster interoperability with local, state, federal and Department of Defense (DOD) organizations.

“It’s good training,” said Tony Knights, an Evansville, Indiana firefighter assigned to TF1. “It’s definitely good to get out and have the opportunity to have this hands-on training.”

One of the many tools available to the task force is the Micro Tactical Ground Robot, equipped with video cameras and capable of entering restricted areas members of TF1 would not be able to see or enter on their own.

“The robot is helping us with a recon operation,” said Chris Hemphill, a search team manager with the task force. “It’s for searching for hazardous materials and environments.”

U.S. Army North conducts VR ‘14 annually to train and test the capabilities of local, state and federal emergency services.